Belfast Telegraph

Video: You've made a grave mistake - we can't protect you, PSNI tell thief who took charity box for child who lost cancer battle

By Jonathan Bell

Police have told a thief who took a charity box raising money to help pay for treatment for a little boy suffering a brain tumor, he has made "a grave mistake" warning him they can't "protect him from community anger".

Officers advised the man "a wise choice would be to quickly and quietly" hand himself in. They also urged the public to exercise restraint.

"No violence can in any way pay tribute to such a brave and happy young lad," said an officer.

The Poyraz kebab shop on Bridge Street, Dromore, Co Down was broken into in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Windows were smashed and a door forced in the 3.30am raid.

Police said they are "fairly confident" they would catch the man responsible and forensic officers had found blood at the scene.

As well as a charity box a tip jar were stolen. That charity box had been for the Cure4Cam cause.

Cameron Truesdale, from Waringstown, Co Down, died last week. In January 2017 he was given just nine months to live after being diagnosed with an aggressive fatal brainstem cancer - Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG).

However, in a bid to defeat the cancer he made multiple trips to Mexico to receive pioneering treatment which the fundraiser helped to pay for. His funeral was held on Sunday.

Cameron's father expressed his anger over the theft of the box one week on from his son's death. CCTV from the area at the time of the burglary has been widely circulated on social media.

Gareth Ingram owns the building and leases out the kebab shop.

"It was a bucket and unfortunately it had been on the counter for some time." he told the Belfast Telegraph.

"It was half full but we have no way of knowing exactly how much was in it. He also took the money from a tip jar and £60 from the til."

He said the person responsible had likely been in the shop and saw the charity box but during his raid left significant amounts of evidence to be traced.

"They are just blinkered ... all they want is money, they don't care where it came from or what it's for" he added.

"The community is up in arms."

As a parent, when I heard about this, my fists clenched.

A Craigavon police officer said there had been a great deal of anger as word spread of the theft.

"As a parent, when I heard about this, my fists clenched. What those close to Cameron and the family will be feeling now will be off the scale, and no one can blame them for that."

"The imagery speaks for itself. A business serving the community and helping the community losing both the money they raised, and tips the appreciative public gave them. It is a particularly personal attack and loss."

He added: "This isn't appeal just for info ... This is an appeal to the person responsible.

"You have made a grave mistake here. Whatever it is you desperately need money for, there is help out there for you, help which we can sign post you towards.

"What we cannot do is protect someone we don't know from community anger. There is no doubt that someone will recognise you. A wise choice would be to quickly and quietly bring yourself to Lurgan or Banbridge station and hand yourself in.

"We urge restraint and calm at this time. No violence can in any way pay tribute to such a brave and happy young lad. If anyone has any information, pass it to us straight away. You can PM us, or better still call 101. The reference number is 122 of today, 12/09/18."

In the early hours of this morning, shortly before 330 am, we received reports of a burglary at Poyraz Kebab shop in...

Posted by PSNI Craigavon on Wednesday, September 12, 2018

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