STAFF at a busy coffee shop in the Capital have told of their shock after sneak thieves stole their Poppy Appeal collection tin on Armistice Day.
Stunned workers at the Starbucks cafe in Lothian Road reported the theft of the tin at around 4.45pm on Wednesday, with customers describing an attempt by two individuals to “distract” staff earlier in the day before making off with the money.
Cafe assistants only realised afterwards that the tin had been snatched, said one customer, who asked not to be named.
Furious charity leaders said they were “dismayed” to hear about the theft of vital funds which would otherwise have helped support current and former military personnel.
It is not known how much money had been put in the tin and police have yet to release a detailed description of any individuals wanted in connection with the robbery.
However, bosses at Starbucks said they were working with police to review CCTV footage as part of an investigation into the incident, which is believed to have been taken place at around 1.30pm on Wednesday.
Store workers also said they would make a donation to the Poppy Appeal to make up for funds which were stolen.
Manager Grace Chan said: “We are very upset about this theft, especially as it happened on Armistice Day.
“We are now working with the local Poppy Appeal to make a donation to replace this tin.”
The theft has been branded “despicable” by leaders at Poppyscotland.
A spokeswoman said: “We are dismayed to hear this. People generously put money in the poppy tins because they want to help our armed forces community.”
She added: “All the money that goes into the tins is used to provide year-round vital support to those most in need and we are really disappointed that someone would carry out such a despicable act.”
Police said their probe into the theft was ongoing. They have also asked for witnesses to come forward.
A spokesman said: “Police are investigating the theft of a charity tin from a premises on Lothian Road.
“Inquiries are ongoing and anyone with information on this incident is asked to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”