POLICE are hunting this man in connection with the theft of a Poppy Appeal tin in Ashchurch – just one incident in a spate of similar thefts.

In another instance, Chris Foster, manager at the Duke of Wellington in Sherbourne Street, Bourton-on-the-Water, said he and his regulars were appalled by the theft of a collection box, which had been chained to the bar and contained at least £100.

“I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “It’s unbelievable that anybody would want to steal a charity box. We had such condemnation from all the locals and businesses. We put on a raffle so we could raise some money to put back in it. We raised £100 and had donations from other businesses.”

The theft was among a spate across the Cotswolds last, week with charity boxes also stolen from the post office on Chipping Campden High Street and a shop in Market Place, Northleach.

Staff at the post office in Campden said they had no idea how much money was in the box and they were “shocked” by the theft.

The offender in these incidents is described as a white man, aged in his late 50s or early 60s, about 6ft 2inches tall with grey collar-length hair. He was wearing a medium-length green waxed- style country jacket, a flat green cap and blue jumper.

Meanwhile, later on the same day, a Poppy Appeal charity collection box was stolen from a service station at Ashchurch, near Tewkesbury.

The thief, who is wearing a poppy himself, removed the cable that was securing the box and stole it.

Inspector Owen Hughes said: “This is a despicable crime, It is hard to comprehend how anyone can think it is acceptable to steal from any charity. This money has been donated by people for an incredibly worthy cause and we are committed to finding those responsible.”

Anyone who has information should call police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111