Heartless thief steals hospice charity box from pub

New Ship manager Gayle Gardiner, after charity box was stolen from bar.

New Ship manager Gayle Gardiner, after charity box was stolen from bar.

Police are hunting a heartless thief who stole a hospice’s charity box from a pub’s bar.

Gayle Gardiner, manager of the New Ship Inn, on Sunderland Road, Cleadon, was left disgusted after discovering the collection pot for St Benedict’s Hospice, in Sunderland, had been removed from her bar on Tuesday.

New Ship manager Gayle Gardiner, with Easter Eggs to raise money for St Benedict's Hospice, after charity box was stolen from bar.

New Ship manager Gayle Gardiner, with Easter Eggs to raise money for St Benedict's Hospice, after charity box was stolen from bar.

After reviewing CCTV footage she discovered a man had entered the pub at 3.15pm and used a lighter to melt off the box’s cable ties.

She said: “It’s just disgusting, who would steal money which is meant for a hospice and dying people? It’s just awful.

“The box was secured to a beer pump with a plastic cable tie, we’ve had it for ages, but he’s used a lighter to melt it.

“It’s ridiculous, there would probably be a maximum of about £30 in there, it’s all just five pence pieces and copper.

Who would steal money meant for a hospice and dying people?

Gayle Gardiner

“I am hoping that if we circulate the CCTV footage we will be able to catch him. Someone must know who he is.”

Gayle has felt so bad that the hospice has lost out on the money, she’s bought Easter eggs which she will be raffling off.

She said: “I felt terrible that they’re going to be missing out.

“So I’ve bought a load of Easter eggs and I will be selling raffle tickets and hopefully we will make back the money that’s been lost.”

A Northumbria Police spokesman added: “Police are appealing for witnesses following the theft of a charity box from a pub in Cleadon.

“It happened at the New Ship Inn on Sunderland Road in South Tyneside on Tuesday, April 4 at 3.15pm.

“A man came into the premises and stole the charity box on the bar.”

Anyone with information should call police on 101, quoting reference number 1000 of 04/04/17 or ring the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.