Collection box stolen from church at charity concert

w134005e
The World War 1 memorial triptych which hangs in St Hildas Church and is need of cleaning to restore its artistry
St Hildas church
Picture by Neil Silk 
01/10/13
w134005e The World War 1 memorial triptych which hangs in St Hildas Church and is need of cleaning to restore its artistry St Hildas church Picture by Neil Silk 01/10/13
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Around £900 has been stolen from a church in North Yorkshire following a charity concert over the weekend.

Police say the suspect attended the concert at St Hilda’s Church in Whitby and afterwards struck up a conversation with one of the organisers.

During the chat a collection box was knocked onto the floor and organisers later realised that £800 to £900 was missing from the collection.

The man is described as around 6ft tall and in his late 20s or 30s with dark hair and stubble. He was wearing a cream jumper and jeans.

He spoke to members of the congregation during the event and his behaviour was described as “eccentric”.

Sgt Melanie Smith from Whitby Police said: “This event was about giving something back to a local charity, but unfortunately someone appears to have been more intent on taking something that wasn’t theirs.

“This has, quite understandably, upset those who worked hard to organise this event, and generous members of the community who supported it.”

She added that anyone who has information should contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, quoting incident number 12160209997.

The incident follows another theft at a church in Grosmont just a few miles away in the Esk Valley.

The front of a wall-mounted collection box was prized open at St Matthew’s Church and a small amount of cash was stolen.

The incident is believed to have taken place on Sunday November 13.

Sgt Smith added: “While we’re unable to confirm whether these incidents are linked, I’d remind churches to empty their collection boxes regularly”

North Yorkshire Police also has specialist advice on church security via www.northyorkshire.police.uk/churchsecurity