Brave teen foils charity box theft

The Chicken Box, Newry Street Banbridge � Edward Byrne Photography INBL01-201EB
The Chicken Box, Newry Street Banbridge � Edward Byrne Photography INBL01-201EB

A teenage fast-food worker has been praised for recovering a charity collection box after giving chase to thieves who stole it from a takeaway restaurant in Banbridge.

On Friday, December 27 shortly before 9pm two men posing as customers stole a Cancer Research charity box from the Chicken Box in Newry Street.

An 18-year-old male worker ran after the men and managed to retrieve the charity box. It is believed that the males made off towards the Scarva Road area following the incident.

Proprietor of the business, Gary Gracey praised the young man who gave chase but said he would not encourage others to do the same. He said: “It was heroic but also very foolish and he could have been hurt and we could be reporting much worse than the box being stolen.”

He continued: “I am delighted they didn’t get away with the charity box but it isn’t worth risking your life over.”

Gary said that the teenager who was working in the premises was alerted to the box being stolen when customers shouted out.

He commented: “The men who were in their late twenties and well dressed were approached by staff twice to take their order but the men said they still hadn’t decided. There were three boxes sitting on the counter and they lifted the heaviest one and headed straight for the door.

“When the young man who works for me heard the customers shouting he says he instinctively gave chase and the men handed the box over when he confronted them near the Post Office gate before they ran away.”

Police would like to appeal to anyone who has any information about the incident to contact them at Banbridge Police Station on 0845 600 8000. Or alternatively, if someone would like to pass on their information without giving their details they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.