Published: 12:00, 30 July 2016
Callous thieves stole cash from a charity box raising money to fund a teenage girl’s specialist cancer treatment in America.
A woman and a boy – believed to be a mother and son – walked into the Bank Street newsagents in Hythe last Wednesday afternoon.
The collection is raising money for 16-year-old Dover girl Kelly Turner, who has undergone nine rounds of chemotherapy already, and is the focus of a massive fundraising campaign for her to get groundbreaking treatment in the USA.
While a staff member serving the woman at 1.30pm reached for a packet of Rizlas to give to her customer, CCTV images show the boy snatch the box and stuff it into his bag.
The box contained an estimated £65 and had been raised over the past fortnight as shoppers donated their loose change and larger amounts.
Shop owner Mikin Patel says it left him extremely angry that people would steal a box clearly intended for charity.
Mr Patel, who has run the shop since October, said: “It made me feel really angry. At the end of the day we’re trying to help and when people come in and nick charity money it angers me more.
“You try to help and they take it.
“It’s just to help her and my mum works in Dover Morrison’s where they're doing something and I thought why not bring it here and do something here in Hythe.
“I’m still carrying on and since that we’ve raised £130 already so people have donated more.
“Hopefully we get the money back and they get the punishment by the law.”
Mr Patel, who was upstairs when the incident took place, said his colleague noticed the box had gone after the pair had left the shop.
He added: “They came in and the woman was talking to try and divert her attention and we went through the CCTV.
“She was a distraction and her son took it slyly and bend down and put it in his bag.”
So far £91,000 has been raised towards the whopping £1 million target to fund Kelly’s treatment at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre in New York.
It has been dubbed as her last option to rid her of the cancer.
The East Kent Mercury, KentOnline's sister paper in Dover, is running a campaign to help raise funds.
A spokesman for Kent Police confirmed officers were investigating the incident and inquiries were ongoing.
Anyone with information can contact the police on 01843 222289 quoting reference ZY/025644/16.
You can donate to Kelly’s treatment fund by cheque or cash to NatWest bank with the sort code 60 07 04 and the account number 39767000. Or you can donate at crowdfunding.justgiving.com/kelly-turner
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