Thief steals cancer charity money from New Addington funeral parlour
A callous thief stole a Christmas charity collection tin from a funeral parlour while staff were distracted talking to a grieving family.
The brazen crook walked into Rowland Brothers in Central Parade, New Addington and bizarrely handed an employee a Lotto entry slip before making off with over £85 destined for cancer charities.
The cash had been given by mourners who made donations in return for placing tributes to dead loved ones on the parlour's Christmas tree.
Angelia Jordan, 43, a funeral arranger who was working when the theft took place on December 27, said: "I was sitting doing a funeral arrangement with a family when he walked in with a big wad of Lotto slips and gave me one. I didn't know what to think.
"He then started walking around the shop but I couldn't keep an eye on him because I was talking to the family."
Staff later learned from CCTV footage that the man had taken the tin, which contained donations towards the Brenda Kirby Cancer Centre, Woodside Bereavement Counselling Service and Breakthrough Breast Cancer.
Ms Jordan said: "It is unbelievable that he would do that. I felt sick to my stomach and so angry.
"We have the tree every year and the reason we have a tin box is so people can donate as much or as little as they like without feeling like they are being judged. This is going to stop me from doing that."
She added: "It is not just that he stole money for charity, it is the fact he came into the shop while people were arranging a funeral for their loved one. I feel quite violated."
Brenda Kirby, a former New Addington councillor who was diagnosed with incurable brain and lung cancer in 2010, said: "It is a despicable thing to do.
"I don't think people have got a lot of money to spare anymore so any donations, even a few pence, mean a lot.
"I can only hope that the person who took it was desperate and that the money did something good for them.
David Collins, area manager for Rowland Brothers, said: "It is totally disgusting. But we have got a good image of him on CCTV and we are going to be showing it to the police."