A shopkeeper has hit out at a mean-spirited thief who snatched a charity box from the counter.
Mina Parmar said the culprit would have gained only £20 or £30 from the blue Derian House box – but made off on his expensive-looking bicycle.
The incident happened at about 10.20am on Wednesday at the Spar convenience store, on Poplar Avenue, in Bamber Bridge.
Mrs Parmar was serving a customer with a lottery ticket when a man walked in wearing a motorcycle helmet with the visor over his face.
She said: “He asked for 10 cigarettes. I was already serving someone but he seemed impatient. Then he grabbed the charity box and pulled it. It was tangled up with the cord from the scanner but he just kept pulling.
“I was yanking on the other end but he managed to get it free and pulled the scanner on to the floor.
“Then he rode off on his bike that he’d left outside.”
Mrs Parmar, who has run the shop with husband Kish for about 30 years, said she hoped that the distinctive helmet worn by the thief would help to identify him.
She said: “My husband got in his car and tried to go after him but he lost him.
“We think he probably went down a ginnel and rode off towards the park.
“We’ve had one or two incidents in the past but nothing as petty as this. Everybody is shocked.
“He was wearing expensive gear and the box probably only had £20 or £30 in it – £40 at the most.”
Mrs Parmar said the man appeared to be a young adult, possibly a teenager aged about 18 or 19, but she could not be sure.
Police confirmed that the thief had pulled off a security cord from the Derian House box before escaping.
They are looking for a white male of slim build.
He was wearing a black jacket and black track suit bottoms with a white line along the legs, police said.
He also wore gloves and a white motorcycle helmet with a red motif.
His bike is thought to be black or a dark colour and has the words Claude Butler written on the frame.
If you have information contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111. All calls are treated anonymously.