Thieves have stolen a community collection being held in support of a grieving Leeds family devastated by the Manchester Arena bombing last month.
The funds, which were to be given to the bereaved family of schoolgirl Sorrell Leczkowski, were snatched from the counter of a shop in Ireland Wood.
Allerton High School pupil Sorrell was killed during the terrorist atrocity which followed an Ariana Grande concert on May 22.
The 14-year-old from Adel, Leeds Beckett University student Courtney Boyle, 19, and Wendy Fawell, 50, from Otley, were among the 22 people killed in the blast.
Countless others were seriously injured, including Sorrell’s mother and grandmother.
It was with them in mind that staff at the Costcutter shop in Raynell Approach began the collection.
Owner Praff Patel told the YEP: “We started the collection a couple of days after the incident.
“A lot of customers have been supporting it. They’ve been putting in £5 or £10 notes. There’s some very generous people around here. They’ve got community spirit.”
He said he was devastated when colleague Jane Flynn called him on Sunday to break the news about the theft.
But just as the attack in Manchester is inspiring many acts of humanity, Mr Patel said they would not let the theft deter them from helping the family.
“I can’t see the police being able to get the money back, but I’ve started off the collection again,” he said. “I’ve put £100 in out of my own pocket.” Ms Flynn has also donated a day’s wages to help rebuild the funds, which were believed to total several hundred pounds at the time of the theft.
In the meantime, police are checking CCTV footage from the shop and have a number of local leads to follow.
They wish to speak to two men and confirmed a CCTV film shows one of the pair snatching the collection at around 1.55pm.
The YEP cannot share the CCTV footage for legal reasons. A police spokesman said: “The incident is currently being investigated and anyone with any information is asked to contact officers.”
Call 101, quoting crime number 13170277405.