Prabakar Paramanathan, who runs the Bungalow Convenience Store, in Stratford Road, Hartlepool, has described how the box was stolen at around 5pm on Fri day evening, January 14, while he was in his stock room.
Prabakar, who was the only person working at the shop when the incident took place, has shared CCTV footage on social media in the hope the person who took the box will be identified.
The 39-year-old said: “He just popped into the shop. I was in the stock room, in the toilet, and he pinched the poppy box.”
Prabakar has said he did not immediately realise what had happened when he returned moments after the theft.
But his wife saw it all on CCTV in real time and rang him straight away.
The box had been there for over three months and was to be collected soon.
Prabakar, who has been running the shop for nearly two years, said: "It was a full box. I was about to call them to collect it.
"I was frustrated. I reported it to the police.”
The shop keeper, who moved to Hartlepool from London two years ago, has said he is not sure if the money will be returned.
He said: “I just want the police to find him.
"I don’t know what’s going to happen.“
Prabakar has added that there was an attempted robbery on the shop back in 2020.
Cleveland Police have confirmed they received a report at 5.12pm on January 14 of “a male taking a charity box from a shop in Stratford Road”.
The male was wearing a grey jumper and tracksuit bottoms and reportedly made off in a black Vauxhall Astra.
Police have asked anyone with information to contact them.
A force spokesperson said: “The male was reported to have made off in a black Vauxhall Astra.
"The male was reported as white, tall and wearing a grey jumper and tracksuit bottoms.
"If anyone has any information please call 101, reference 007461.”