Collection box raider escapes with just £20

Luca Vettese with a cash collection box identical to the one stolen from Notarianni Ices, Waterloo Rd., South Shore.

Luca Vettese with a cash collection box identical to the one stolen from Notarianni Ices, Waterloo Rd., South Shore.

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A thug broke into an ice cream parlour, stealing a charity box collection destined for disabled children and causedhundreds of pounds of damage.

The vandal targeted Notarianni’s Ice Cream parlour, South Shore, in the early hours of Wednesday morning, throwing a brick through the shop window before entering the premises to take a box collecting for a children’s charity.

Staff at the store on Waterloo Road say the thief will have escaped with no more than £20 in petty cash but they have left the business with a bill running into hundreds of pounds to repair the damage.

Owner Michael Vettese said: “I can’t believe it, it’s just such a shame. I’ve had windows smashed before but it shocked me someone could be so low to steal from charity.

“We collect for Munchkins, a local charity. It’s a parent led group for children with special needs - the children are great.

“We’re trying to do good and one idiot ruins it.”

Mr Vettese was alerted by neighbours to the break in at 12.30am on Wednesday.

Neighbours also reported the incident to the police, witnessing the thug making off along nearby Bath Street.

Lancashire Police confirmed it is investigating the incident.

A spokesman said: “The suspect is described as male and wearing a blue hooded top, a body warmer and grey tracksuit bottoms.

“If anybody was around the area or knows anything about the incident we would encourage them to contact us on 101.”

Now Mr Vettese has been left with a bill for £140 to repair the damage plus costs to further protect the premises.

But Mr Vettese said his faith has been restored in society after people offered their time and skills to repair the damage to the shopfront.

He added: “It’s touching that people and phoning, trying to support us.

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