Pub's charity collection stolen

A COUPLE today vowed never to collect for charity again after heartless thieves stole a £1,000 collection from their pub bar. Diane and Alex Christie, managers of the popular Shepherd and Dog carvery restaurant in Felixstowe Road, Nacton, were collecting the money to give to the East Anglian Air Ambulance in a fortnight's time.

A COUPLE today vowed never to collect for charity again after heartless thieves stole a £1,000 collection from their pub bar.

Diane and Alex Christie, managers of the popular Shepherd and Dog carvery restaurant in Felixstowe Road, Nacton, were collecting the money to give to the East Anglian Air Ambulance in a fortnight's time.

That was until determined thieves broke into the pub and used pliers to remove the bottle which contained mostly coppers and weighed an estimated 125lbs (55 Kilos)-more than eight stone.

The couple, who have been at the pub for 16 years, said they collect for charity every year but no longer want to take the risk after the theft on Wednesday August 9.

Mrs Christie said: “It is sickening. We have been in the pub trade for 30 years and we have always done things for charity. Perhaps this is a sign of the times but we cannot risk people breaking in again.”

Mr Christie said he felt physically sick when he noticed the theft the next morning.

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He said: “They broke in and used pliers to cut the chain around the bottle. It is all they took and what they came for. We had collected for about 18 months after finding out about the air ambulance at a county show in Norfolk.

“It is a lot of money and it could have saved someone's life. I hope the air ambulance isn't available if they ever need it.”

Mrs Christie said the money was due to be handed over to the charity just two weeks after the theft,

She said: “It is such a shame. The air ambulance would have had the money by now and we would have collected for the St Elizabeth Hospice next year so its two charities that have lost out. It is sickening.

An announcement on the bar said: “We reluctantly will never again collect for charity on our bar counter knowing that a small minority will stoop so low.”

Anyone with any information about the theft should contact Suffolk police on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

What do you think of the theft? Have you been saved by the air ambulance? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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