A thief targeting charity collection boxes in shops is believed to have struck again.
Shops in Brighouse have been targeted by a thief who brazenly snatches charity boxes from counters.
The man, wearing a high-viz vest, was captured on CCTV stealing from Field Lane Fisheries in Rastrick .
And a man, possibly the same one, was chased by furious shopkeeper John Murphy, manager at Czerwik Fine Wines and Cheeses in Commercial Street, Brighouse, after two charity boxes were taken.
The thief is also thought to have struck at a Co-op in Brighouse.
Now the man – apparently the same one – has been caught on CCTV at Patchett’s Minimarket in Queensbury, near Bradford.
This time he was caught red-handed and laughed off his attempted theft as a joke, before leaving the shop empty-handed.
Chris Bruce, whose family runs Lower Hopton News in Mirfield , was working a shift at Patchett’s on Friday night when the would-be thief came in.
Chris said: “He tried to distract me by asking for a print out for the winning numbers for the previous lottery draw but I heard a noise and looked round and saw him trying to put the collection box into his coat.
“It was halfway under his coat – he must have had a pocket I assume – and I spotted it and told him to put it back.
“He said: ‘Sorry. I’m only joking’ and put it back. He then calmly left the shop with his print out.”
Chris later checked the shop’s CCTV and found a clear image of the suspect. The footage shows the man trying to hide the box inside his coat.
Chris, who also has CCTV in his shop at Lower Hopton, said: “To steal from anyone is bad enough but to steal from a charity is just the lowest of the low.”
It is thought the man speaks with a Northern but not local accent and may travel from outside the area.
Mr Murphy chased the thief for about half-a-mile forcing him to dump the collection boxes.