POLICE have released CCTV images in a bid to catch a thief who stole a charity collection box in Weymouth.

The box was taken at around 11.20am on Saturday, April 12 at the Pier Bandstand on the Esplanade.

It is unknown how much money was inside the Margaret Green Animal Rescue collection box but the charity says it is ‘very disappointed’ at the loss.

Marketing officer Lucy Compton, said: “Every penny we collect goes towards animal welfare.

“We rely completely on public donations and it’s a shame that people have kindly donated their money and it has been taken in this way.

“We are also very grateful to the businesses that have our charity collection boxes in their stores and it’s very disappointing this has happened to one of them.

“The Pier Bandstand has been incredibly kind and after this happened they went out and found one of our old collection boxes so they could carry on collecting.

“We don’t know how much was in the collection box but it was in a prominent position in Weymouth, so it could have been quite a lot of money.”

The charity is appealing for witnesses to come forward.

Lucy added: “We currently have 180 animals in our care and we rely on donations to be able to provide that care.”

Officers have released the images to track down a man they wish to speak to in connection with the incident.

Police Constable Phillip Billington, of Weymouth police, said: “This is a shocking incident which has affected a local charity.

“We believe the box was taken when a member of staff had their back turned.

“Following extensive enquiries, I am now able to release two CCTV images of a man I would like to speak with in relation to this theft.

“I urge the man pictured or anyone who recognises him to contact Dorset Police as soon as possible.”

Witnesses and anyone with information should call Dorset Police on 101 quoting crime number C:14:D:14627.

Alternatively, call the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111.