A community has rallied together after a callous thief stole a shop’s charity box.
Jeremy Heathcote, who runs JJJ Heathcote butchers in Bollington, said he was devastated when man came into the shop asking for a sandwich before swiping a charity box intended for The Christie.
But the community has restored his faith after rallying together to replace the stolen money, so far raising £500 - hundreds more than the £60 estimated to have been stolen.
Jeremy, 51, said: “There is a saying, that if you kick one person in Bollington, then everyone limps and that is one good thing that has come out of this really.
“We have had customers coming into the shop and giving donations for the new box, which will hopefully be with us soon.
“After getting away with about £60 we have already managed to raise more than £500 for the charity.
“I can’t tell you what the support we have had means to us, it’s quite remarkable.”
The online fundraising appeal was set up by Jeremy’s nephew, Adam Heathcote, who despite living in Australia, set about recouping the lost money, which had been earmarked for The Christie Hospital where a family member had recently been treated.
Jeremy added: “It is completely disgusting, I have never felt so sick in my life.
“You hear about these things happening but it is the first time we have ever had a charity box stolen.
“What made it worse was that a close family member had just passed away from leukaemia and had been treated at the Christie.
“We have lost quite a few friends in the village recently, and the Christie was always good to them.”
Since the page was launched yesterday (Thursday, November 23), the family has raised £553.
The incident happened at the Palmerston Street butchers on Thursday, November 23, at around 1pm. Cheshire Police say they are looking for a white man, with light hair, who was wearing a light coloured jumper and jeans at the time of the incident.
The thief was seen running away from Palmerston Street, in the direction of Pott Shrigley, just after the incident.
Witnesses should call the non-emergency 101 number and quote the crime reference 412 of November 23.
To donate to the fundraising page can do so here https:// www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jjj-heathcote-ltd