Thief smashed money box out of church wall

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A thief with a sledgehammer or similar tool has smashed a metal offertory box out of the wall of a Harborough village church, and walked off with it.

The theft happened on Monday, June 20, between 8.30am and 6pm, at the picturesque St Giles church in Medbourne, north-east of Market Harborough.

The box, secured to the wall by four metal bolts, was for donations from church visitors, and probably contained no more than £100.

St Giles churchwarden Martin van Oppen said: “The offertory box was just inside the church door, for the casual visitor to put their donation into.

“It was extremely well bolted to the wall. The thief must have used a sledgehammer, crowbar, jemmy or something similar to remove the box, and then obviously walked out of the church with it, after causing a lot of damage.

“It happened in broad daylight, but there are workmen around the village working on water pipe renewal, so it wouldn’t have seemed unusual to see a workman walking along with a sledgehammer.”

The church is in the centre of the village so Mr van Oppen hopes someone may have seen the thief.

If you have any information, contact PCSO Morton on 101, or the anonymous Crimestoppers number on 0800 555 111.