Kent Police look for child hospice collection tin thief

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Media captionIn the CCTV footage from the Dartford pub the suspect can be seen with a collection tin for charity Demelza

Police are looking for a woman who they suspect has been claiming to work for a children's hospice in order to steal collection tins in Kent.

Footage of a woman taking a collection tin for charity Demelza from the Ship Inn, in Dartford, has been released.

A woman is seen with a boy who she claims is her son and has had leukaemia.

According to Sally Brighton, from the charity, there have been 10 reported incidents across north Kent.

Ms Brighton said initially there were reports of a woman taking tins from premises.

However, it is now believed she is also using the stolen tins to collect money for herself and has also attempted to fraudulently sell advertising space in the charity's magazine.

'Despicable behaviour'

"She's never worked for us and we've never heard of her before," said Ms Brighton.

"It's despicable behaviour that someone would not only steal from a charity, but also from small businesses, while using a child."

Kent Police said the suspect is thought to be in her 40s and is described as stocky, with shoulder length blonde hair and wears a long black cardigan or jacket with leggings.

It is believed she carries a folder with Demelza brochures inside and has a fake identification on a neck cord.

The boy is described as aged between 12 and 14, slim, with short brown hair and wearing a red Adidas top with jeans.

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