A “LOW life” thief is being hunted after he stole a charity box from a Winchester shop today (Tuesday).

The man caught on CCTV distracted the store’s owner as he snatched the tin and walked out whilst trying to hide it.

The incident took place in the Pet Pantry Winchester at 11.54am when owner Abbie Connell was working in the shop alone.

The tin had been raising money for greyhound and lurcher charity Celia Cross, which rescues, rehabilitates and rehomes the breeds.

Abbie, who owns the business with her mum Lynn, said: “It is a bit of low life thing to do. To steal from a shop their own produce is one thing but to steal a charity tin is disgusting.

“During these difficult these charities are struggling, and this is a small charity.”

It is believed that there was around £50 in the tin from customers giving change to be donated to the charity.

Abbie continued: “He used distraction methods, he was talking and asking about different products, before saying he would get some money and be back.”

The shop was also targeted earlier this month when their front door was smashed. Luckily thieves did not manage to get in, but it prompted the business to install a security camera.

“It is so annoying and frustrating that these types of people exist,” Abbie told the Chronicle.

“He has obviously been in before and cased the joint to be able to come in distract me and steal a tin that is there to support charity.”

Police have been informed of the theft, along with the Winchester BID rangers.

The shop hopes that by sharing the video someone will be able to recognise the thief and report him to the police.