Police call for help over poppy tin thefts

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Police have traced suspected poppy tin thieves just hours after calls for help on social media.

But calling for help trace any other suspected thieves wanted in connection with the charity box thefts across Balsall Common and Knowle.

West Midlands Police put out a call to help find two men after thefts were caught on CCTV on November 3.

Officers are investigating seven thefts across Balsall Common, Knowle and Meriden after a host of businesses reported having charity collection boxes stolen between 27 and 30 October.

Detective Inspector Darren Lee said: “Our appeal got a really great response on social media and as a result of calls from the public, we have now identified two men we wanted to speak to about the thefts.

“We have already arrested a 21-year-old man from an address in Seashell Close, Coventry, this afternoon over the offences and we are actively trying to find a second man.

“I would like to thank all those who shared the appeal to trace the men and also, those who called in with the information.

“These thefts − which are totally unjustifiable and deplorable − are being fully investigated and we will keep the community updated with the progress of our inquiries.”

The first theft was from Meriden Tea Rooms at around 11.35am on October 27.

The thieves then struck at Balsall Common Pharmacy at 2pm and tried to steal a tin from the One Stop shop by cutting a string attached to the counter.

The next day a man walked into the Murco garage in Kenilworth Road, Knowle, at 2pm and hid a tin under his jacket before leaving.

Officers are also looking into reports that Lloyds Pharmacy in Meriden, Blooms Garden Centre in Hampton-in-Arden, the One Stop, butchers and dry cleaners – all in Balsall Common - have also been targeted.