Police have issued CCTV images of a man they are keen to identify after a series of charity boxes were stolen from shops in Morecambe, Scorton, Preston and Poulton.
The first offence took place at Harris Pantry on White Lund Industrial estate in Morecambe at 9.00am on 22nd November 2011, when a man entered the bakery and stolen a Mencap charity box from a side table.
The next incident happened at 1.00pm on 10th December when an Air Ambulance charity box was stolen from the Post office at The Square in Scorton. A man waited for customers to leave the shop before secreting a newspaper taken from the display down the back of his trousers, concealing the charity box which was on the counter inside his jacket.
A week later, on 17th December, the same man was spotted at the Cabusmart Cabus Garage on Lancaster New Road, Preston when at 12.30pm a Help for Heroes charity tin was stolen from the shop counter.
On 21st December at 2.30pm, the same man entered a cigarette kiosk on Ball Street in Poulton. He again waited for the customers to leave the shop before distracting the assistant and stealing a Trinity Hospice collection tin from the counter.
Police believe all the incidents are linked, describing the man as white and in his 60s.
He was wearing black trousers with black shoes, a white shirt, black jumper and a beige jacket. He wore a blackstalker hat with ear flaps and glasses.
"This is a despicable crime and I would urge anybody that recognises this man or with any information about the offences to contact Lancashire Police by dialling 101," asks PC Ben Hanley.
• People with information can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or on-line at Crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.