A THIEF has stolen a charity box from the counter of a York shop.

The blue and orange cardboard charity box was raising money for St Leonard's Hospice and was on the counter of the Co-operative Food store until last weekend, when a male customer is believed to have stolen it while staff were distracted.

Mark Porter, manager of the Co-operative Food store in Broadway, said it was unclear how much money was in the box, but it was almost full of coins.

Mr Porter said: “While any theft from our store is taken seriously, we are especially disappointed that someone would steal money being collected for a local hospice. We would appeal for anyone with information to come forward.”

A spokeswoman for North Yorkshire Police said officers had attended the store and an investigation was underway.

She said CCTV footage from the shop's security system had been seized by officers and would form part of the investigation, but no arrests had yet been made.

Anyone with information which could help police with their investigation is urged to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101 and quote reference 12140044061.