THE SALISBURY community has been left "shocked" and "disappointed" as charity box thefts have taken place across the city.

Pritchetts Butchers, Culture Coffee, Fisherton Warehouse and Salisbury Cathedral are just some of the sites that have had their charity boxes or cash recently stolen, as well as another business coming forward to advise that staff tips had almost been taken.

According to Wiltshire Police, a charity box was taken from the butchers in Fish Row between February 6 and 9, and between January 31 and February 2 five collection boxes at Salisbury Cathedral were broken into and cash was stolen.

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Additionally a tip jar was stolen from the Fisherton Warehouse in Fisherton Street on February 4, at around 2.30pm, and a 30-year-old woman from Salisbury has been interviewed in relation to this incident.

Wiltshire Police added: "Our enquiries in all three incidents are currently ongoing. We are keeping an open mind about whether or not they are linked."

In light of the incidents, the Salisbury Business Improvement District (BID) has issued a warning and is working with Salisbury CityWatch, the police and several businesses to gather evidence behind each crime, and advise how to deter and prevent further incidents like this in the city.

Charlie Aldridge from Pritchetts Butchers said the team were "shocked" and "couldn't believe it" when they realised their box was missing last week, adding: "Stealing from charity is the lowest you can get.

"We never felt the need to chain it [the charity box] down, but when a customer went to put some money in Friday morning we realised it was gone. You just can't trust anyone anymore."

The business had been raising money for Barnardo's and staff believe around £50 was in the box.

Charlie added: "We're going to match the £50 stolen as it's not the charity's fault, but we've already received four donations from customers which has restored our faith in humanity.

"It makes you realise what a nice area we live in."

In response to incidents at the cathedral, the director of communications and development, Jane Morgan, said: “I can confirm that in the last few weeks there have been several incidents involving tampering with collection boxes and actual theft.

"All incidents have been reported to the police and we will do everything we can to help them to catch the culprits.”

Salisbury BID chief executive, Robin McGowan, said it is "disappointing" to hear about the number of thefts, adding: “A significant amount of the BID’s funding is invested into Salisbury CityWatch to provide an operational CCTV service. This has already assisted with providing evidence of possible suspects to the police.

“The BID is committed to working to reduce business crime and we aim to help provide a safer environment for businesses, residents and visitors.”

Businesses are encouraged by Salisbury BID to ensure charity boxes are secure, and thefts should be reported to the police by calling 101, as well as contacting Salisbury BID on 01722 658000.