A thief has been branded the lowest of the low for stealing cash donated for brave Harley Slack.
The heartless crook was captured on CCTV as he snatched the collection box from a newsagent's counter. The money had been given by kind customers to pay for specialist equipment and care for Harley, four, who lost his arms and legs to meningitis.
The thief can be seen on film tucking the box under his arm before fleeing, pursued in vain by staff and customers at Wacky Bargains on Bolton Road in Pendlebury, Salford.
Staff there were so touched by last month's M.E.N. story about the youngster from Hazel Grove that they cut it out and put it on top of a collection box for Harley.
Around £60 was raised, some of it from kids who donated their pocket money.
The thief, wearing a beanie hat, fled down a side street after snatching the collection box.
Shop assistant Wendy Diment, 43, emerged from the stock room to see the front door was closing and the collection box had gone.
Chris Douglas, 17, who is the shop owner's son, searched neighbouring streets but the thief got away.
Wendy said: "I just think he's a scumbag. This guy knew exactly what the collection was for. The Evening News story was on top of it. He just didn't care."
Owner Barbara Douglas said: "I just find it really disgusting. People who don't normally donate to a collection box have been putting money in it. What he did was outrageous and he's got to be caught. Luckily, we have quite good CCTV here in the shop and hopefully we can catch him."
David Hulbert, a friend of Harley's family, said: "He is the lowest of the low. There will have been pensioners and kids putting money in. It makes you wonder if people like that can have any sort of conscience." The M.E.N. and our sister paper the Stockport Express are backing the campaign to raise money for Harley. So far the appeal has raised more than £400,000.
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