Monday, 24 March 2014

Teenage Cancer Trust charity box stolen in 'despicable crime' as fundraisers rattled tins in Grafton Centre, Cambridge

A thief stole a charity box containing cash for youngsters with cancer from under the noses of fundraisers in Cambridge.

The “despicable crime” was committed as fundraisers from March of the Mods rattled tins to support the Teenage Cancer Trust’s (TCT) unit at Addenbrooke’s, which looks after young people from East Anglia battling the disease.

Up to £200 was taken during Wednesday’s event at the Grafton Centre, money which would have gone directly to improving the Cambridge unit’s services and facilities and making young lives more bearable.

Julie Chester, one of the organisers of the Mod-themed day, said: “One of our collectors put the till down on the table and within seconds someone had taken it. We were very upset about it. The Grafton Centre management were very good and got security and contacted police, but they couldn’t see anything on the CCTV. Someone obviously thought they were more deserving than children with cancer.”

The day, which raised £157 from the Mods, included a display from Cambridge Scooter Club and Traitors Scooter Club.

Music was provided by The Alley Club Cambridge and The Cambridge Building Society hosted cookie decorating and a guess who competition. March of the Mods, a national movement that celebrates the 1960s youth subculture, hopes to raise £100,000 for the TCT.

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire police said: “We are investigating reports that a charity box was stolen from a fundraising event in the Grafton Centre in Cambridge at about 2.30pm on Wednesday.

“Any theft is unpleasant, however to steal a charity bucket is a despicable crime. The centre was very busy at the time of the offence and I would urge anyone who saw who took the bucket to call police.”

Call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 with information. A fundraising gig was being held at The Beach Social Club in Waterbeach at 7pm last Friday for TCT.

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