A BRAZEN thief hid a poppy collection box with £1,000 in donations under his jacket before walking out of a launderette.

The man went into Launderama, at Leigh Road, in Leigh, and removed the collection box which was chained to a desk by the till, before hiding it and leaving the shop.

He had waited for the member of staff working that day to walk out to her car before attempting to steal the box with the cash inside.

Mira Kay, who runs the shop owned by her mother, said: “What a disgusting human being, stealing the poppy appeal donation box in broad daylight.

“Shameless people are everywhere, what an awful person he is.”

The 25-year-old added: “The lady working went to pick up some washing from her car and that’s when he stole it and left.

“He was waiting outside to see if the staff member was there.

“It was quite heavy. You can feel how much money is in there. We have customers bring in expensive items - wealthy people - who put in £20 or £50 notes.

“I know there were lots of notes in there.

“Every month they collect the boxes and we know it’s about at least £400 each month. But because of the virus we haven’t had the box collected for about two months.”

Mira wasn’t even aware of the incident until Monday, when a staff member asked whether she had moved the box.

She added: “We just feel so unlucky at the moment. About five months ago our cancer research collection box with around £500 in it was stolen.

“And in April I had a drunk person who came in drinking vodka while doing her washing, and kept washing the same load over and over again.

“Then she ended up coming in and smashing the front door, breaking the lid off one of the dryers which cost me £500 o replace, and she threw up everywhere. There were other customers in the shop at the time.”

“People were trying to lift her up - customers were in the store. Nothing happened with police though, she just got cautioned.”

The launderette which has been running for 20 years, operates a self-service.