Rotary Club charity collector is injured preventing thief from stealing bucket in Norfolk street

Police Officers. Picture: Ian Burt

Police Officers. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

A charity stall collector has spoken of her fears for other volunteers after a thief attempted to steal her collection bucket in a Diss street.

Heather Babb was raising money for the charity Shelterbox at a Diss and District Rotary Club stall in Mere Street today when a man tried to wrestle the bucket, which may have contained up to £25 in cash, away from her.

During the ensuing struggle, she suffered bruising to the little finger of her left hand, but she was able to prevent the man, believed to be aged in his mid 30s, from stealing the bucket.

However, Mrs Babb, who lives in Croft Lane, Diss, believed the presence of another collector may have meant the man did not offer too much of a fight, but she was concerned a single collector might not be so lucky.

She said: 'I am of the old school and I have to say it did not phase me really, but what did worry me was that if I had been a lone collector then he might have put in more of an effort.'

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She added the man was 'clearly under the influence' but not so drunk that he was incoherent or unsteady on his feet.

He twice asked for the charity's number, to which Mrs Babb replied they were collecting for the Rotary Club.

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Mrs Babb's little finger became trapped between the handle and the bucket during the ensuing struggle, but the man left empty handed when she refused to let go.

She believed the man may have been an opportunist who saw a chance to get some money for drink.

She added: 'The injury to my hand was quite painful, there is a minor bruise.'

The collectors were raising money for Shelterbox which provides aid to communities overwhelmed by disasters and humanitarian crises

Earlier this week, burglars targeted the East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH) charity shop in Chapel Street, Diss stealing 60 DVDs, a tray of custom brooches, a white heart pendant and a collection tin.

A spokesman for Norfolk police said officers were called to Mere Street in Diss at 11.30am to reports that a male tried to grab a charity collection bucket from a female collector.

She said: 'The male was unsuccessful in his attempt; the victim was left shaken by the incident.'

Police are investigating the incident and anyone with information should phone Norfolk Police on 101.

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