Police investigation launched after money stolen from charity event

Police are investigating reports that up to £900 was stolen from a Whitby church following a charity concert.

Monday, 21st November 2016, 11:56 am
Updated Tuesday, 22nd November 2016, 10:20 am

Officers are appealing for information following the incident at St Hilda’s church at around 10.45pm on Saturday (19 November 2016).

A man attended the concert – which raised money for a local hospice – and approached one of the organisers for a chat at the end.

A box containing the money collected during the event was knocked onto the floor during the conversation. Organisers later realised that £800 to £900 was missing from the collection.

The man is described as around 6ft tall and in his late 20s or 30s with dark hair and stubble. He was wearing a cream jumper and jeans.

He spoke to some members of the congregation and his behaviour was described as “eccentric”.

Whitby-based Sergeant Melanie Smith said: “This event was about giving something back to a local charity, but unfortunately someone appears to have been more intent on taking something that wasn’t theirs.

“This has, quite understandably, upset those who worked hard to organise this event, and generous members of the community who supported it.

“I’d therefore urge anyone who may be able to identify this man, or has any information that could help us find him, to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, quoting incident number 12160209997.

“We’re currently investigating this incident and we will act on any relevant information we receive.”

St Matthew’s church in Grosmont was targeted by thieves earlier this month.

The front of a wall-mounted collection box was prized open and a small amount of cash was stolen.

The incident is believed to have taken place on Sunday, 13 November.

Sgt Smith added: “While we’re unable to confirm whether these incidents are linked, I’d remind churches to empty their collection boxes regularly and find out more about keeping your church safe at www.northyorkshire.police.uk/churchsecurity”