Thief steals children's charity money by distracting staff at Worthing taxi firm

A taxi firm hit by a string of smash and grab thefts earlier this month has now had charity boxes stolen in distraction thefts, staff say.

Thursday, 26th October 2017, 3:41 pm
Updated Monday, 11th December 2017, 5:21 pm
Genarro De Chello (left) and others from Arrow Taxis, now with a new charity box
Genarro De Chello (left) and others from Arrow Taxis, now with a new charity box

After staff at Arrow Taxis in Worthing noticed two charity boxes had gone missing on Wednesday it was not long until CCTV revealed the upsetting crimes.

Gennaro Di Chello, whose family owns Arrow Taxis, said: “I noticed the boxes were missing and thought if they had been picked up by the charities there would be new ones there.”

He said when they checked CCTV they watched how the culprit distracted members of staff and reached for the charity boxes on three occasions.

Gennaro added: “The first time she asked for a drink of water, got a staff member to turn round, and took it.

“The second time she asked for a cigarette.

“We are just going to leave it to the police.”

On a third occasion Gennaro said footage shows the woman unsuccessfully reach for another box.

Across the two thefts several hundred pounds was taken that had been destined for two charities: St Barnabas House and Kamelia Kids Children’s Centre in Goring.

Gennaro added: “We did a fundraiser few weeks ago for Kamelia Kids.

“It’s a bit of a shame because we were going to give that to them around Christmas time.”

But the company has said it will replace the stolen money itself so the charities do not miss out.

The thefts of the charity boxes come less than two weeks after Arrow Taxis were hit by a spate of thefts from cabs around Worthing.

Rocks were thrown through the windows of at least six taxis with low value items taken.

But fortunately since an article appeared in the Herald about it the thefts seem to have stopped.

Gennaro said: “Our public approach has made them think twice.

“Obviously word got out – it did the job.”

Sussex Police has been approached for comment.