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Deerstalker-capped thief still sought after spate of poppy tin thefts in Solihull

November 6, 2014, 3:28 pm

Police are reappealing for the publics help to catch a poppy tin thief after seven collection boxes were stolen in three days in Solihull.

Earlier this week, police released CCTV footage of two men − one of whom wears a distinctive deerstalker hat – who officers suspect are behind the spate of thefts.

The public called in to identify the pair and a 21-year-old man was arrested the same day (Monday, 3 November) from an address in Seashell Close, Coventry, and questioned over the thefts. He was later released on police bail while inquiries continue.

A second man was later arrested in the early hours of 5 November  and spoken to however, it was established that he was not one of the men in the footage and he was released with no further action being taken against him.

Officers have now reissued the footage and the image of the second suspect in another bid to identify him. He is described as white, 6ft, of a slim build, in his 20s and is often seen wearing a distinctive-checked deerstalker hat.

Inspector Darren Lee is investigating the thefts and said: “We received a great response to our first appeal and within an hour, we were able to make a swift arrest of one of the suspects.

“Unfortunately the second arrest proved not to be the man we were after and we would now urge the public to call us again if they know who this man might be.

“With Remembrance Day approaching and this year being the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One, it is absolutely despicable that people think it is ok to steal poppy tins.

“There are no circumstances under which such thefts are justifiable and we are doing all we can to bring those responsible to justice. In the meantime, we would urge any businesses with poppy tins to be vigilant and report any thefts to us at the earliest opportunity.”

Anyone with information about the identity of the men is urged to call police on 101, or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
The offences being investigated are as follows:

27 October
- 11.35am: two men walked into Meriden Tea Rooms on Fillongley Road. One of them concealed the poppy tin on the counter under his jacket before walking out of the café with it.
- 2pm: a poppy collection tin was stolen from Balsall Common Pharmacy after a man walked in and placed it in a plastic bag.
- 5.45pm: an unsuccessful attempt to steal a poppy tin from Blooms, Kenilworth Road, Solihull.
- 6.30pm: a man entered One Stop in Knowle and tried to steal a poppy tin by cutting the string attaching it to the counter. He was stopped by a member of staff.
- 7pm: a tin was stolen from Threshers on Widney Road, Knowle.
28 October
- 2pm: a man walked into Murco petrol station on Kenilworth Road, Knowle, and concealed a tin under his jacket before walking out with it.
30 October
- 4.15pm: a tin was stolen from One Stop in Balsall Common after cutting a cord and concealing it under his jacket.

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