MEAN thieves have been slammed for stealing poppy collection boxes from a taxi firm.
Four Royal British Legion charity boxes were stolen from the office of Cameron Taxis, at the rear of Cameron Holdings, in Mainsforth Terrace.
The thieves also made off with £80 that had been donated to buy poppy wreaths when they struck overnight on Thursday, November 17.
Sian Cameron, who took over the Poppy Appeal in Hartlepool last year after her dad, Ian, died aged 61, has branded the thieves “disgusting”.
The 29-year-old, who now owns her dad’s cab firm, said: “I’m absolutely appalled by the behaviour of the thieves. To steal from a charity is disgusting and unforgivable and they should be totally ashamed of themselves.
“The generous residents of Hartlepool kindly donated that cash to the Poppy Appeal and it sickens me to think that someone would stoop so low as to steal it.”
Ian worked tirelessly for seven years to raise money for current and former soldiers in need.
Sian has taken over his endeavours and has just finished her second appeal.
She is hoping to get close to the £44,000 she raised during her first campaign.
Sian, who lives in Wolviston, added: “They broke through a door so haven’t smashed any windows, which would have been more expensive.
“But that’s beside the point. It’s all about the charity money.
“They were all sealed boxes so I don’t know how much were in them, but I know how generous people in Hartlepool are.
“It was all clearly labelled and they will have known what they were taken. It’s unbelievable.”
A Cleveland Police spokeswoman said: “Police would like to speak to anyone who may have seen the theft take place or may have seen several discarded poppy boxes in a questionable location.”
Anyone with information regarding the theft is asked to contact PC Adam Godfrey, of Hartlepool Police, on (01642) 302110 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.