Thief swipes Poplar pet shop’s charity tin

This is the moment a woman takes a charity tin from Pets Paradise in Poplar. Picture: Submitted

This is the moment a woman takes a charity tin from Pets Paradise in Poplar. Picture: Submitted - Credit: Archant

This is the moment a woman snatches a pet shop charity tin while the owner’s back is turned.

CCTV shows the thief wander into Pets Paradise in Chrisp Street Market, Poplar and grab the box of cash from the counter while the owner was in a back store room.

She then strolls back out the door with about £200 in what would have been donations to charities or customers unable to afford food or medicine for their pets.

Worker, Lisa Allison, whose mother Doll is the store owner, said: "We've never had this before. Mum is trusting and kind-hearted.

"She would never have thought for a minute someone would come in and take the charity tin."

Lisa explained the shop usually has two people working, but Doll was on her own that day because a member of staff was off sick.

Doll was out the back stocking up on pigs' ears when the woman came in, making off with the tin within seconds while the 58-year old was busy.

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A second woman, who enters before the culprit, appears to be an accomplice sent in to scope the store, Lisa said.

"Mum's been in Chrisp Street Market years and years. Everyone knows her. She's never had a problem with shoplifting and thieving.

"She's disappointed and feeling a bit violated really," Lisa added.

She explained that Doll would help people who came in saying they didn't have enough money to feed their pets, adding: "They've unnecessarily taken something mum would have freely given."

Lisa added that her aunt, who runs Eastenders Pie & Mash in East India Square nearby, saw off the same women after they targeted her café too.

A Met Police spokeswoman, confirming details of the theft, said: "There are two female suspects and there have been no arrests at the moment but enquiries continue."

Since sharing the video on social media, well-wishers have donated money in a show of support.

One man who heard about what happened even visited the shop to pop £20 in a new tin.

"We want to say thanks to everyone who's donated. It restores your faith in people," Lisa said.

Anyone with information should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.