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Man jailed for four months following charity box thefts

John Freeman
A man who stole charity boxes from premises in Lancashire, Cumbria and North Yorkshire has been jailed for four months.

Alexander Hewitt, 55, of no fixed abode, appeared at Lancaster Magistrates Court yesterday charged with two counts of theft.

Hewitt stole a Mencap charity box from Harris Pantry, on Whitelund industrial estate, Morecambe, on 22nd November last year and a North West Air Ambulance charity box from Scorton’s post office last December.

He pleaded guilty to the charges and asked for another 31 offences across Lancashire, Cumbria and North Yorkshire to be taken into consideration.

Hewitt was arrested after new CCTV images of him were released in a witness appeal and colleagues at North Yorkshire Police contacted Lancashire officers to make them aware of his identity. He was then seen by officers in Market Street, Lancaster, on 9th February and arrested.

“Charities rely on the generous donations made by the public," commented PC Ben Hanley, Lancaster Police.

"To steal money from such good causes, depriving them of much needed funds, is quite despicable.”