Distraction thieves steal cash during classical concert at St Mary’s Church in Walthamstow

| April 19, 2010

THIEVES stole hundreds of pounds during a performance of classical music in a church.

As the audience enjoyed a performance by the Lendvai Trio at St Mary’s Church in Church End, Walthamstow, a man entered and distracted organiser Pater McCarthy, who was guarding £800 worth of takings.

The thief drew Mr McCarthy’s attention to something in the car park and, as soon as his back was turned, an accomplice sitting in the audienced swiped the cash and fled.

Mr McCarthy runs Music in the Village, a non-for-profit series of concerts, and is now out of pocket after the theft of the takings, which was to pay the musicians and the venue.

The 55-year-old said: "I have always been aware that someone might take the box from outside, so I guard the box. But I had my back to it.

"One man distracted my attention to the car park. I moved to the door to stand between him and the audience, not realising he was in cahoots with a guy in the church who was watching the concert. Then he took it."

“It was very upsetting and a horrible thing to do. It is a voluntary endeavour on my behalf to provide classical music in the local area.

"We have some of the most celebrated artists from all over, so I feel utterly despondent.

“The audience really treasure this concerts. Those who found out have been giving contributions so we can pay the artists.”

Mr McCarthy did not want to spoil the entertainment so let the concert continue but immediately called the police, who arrived in minutes and searched the area, but the thieves could not be traced.

Police described both thieves as aged about 25 with short hair and wearing tracksuit bottoms and stripey tops.

Anyone with any information about the theft, which took place at arounbd 8pm last Thursday (April 15) is asked to contact Chingford Police on 8345 3015 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 1111.



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Category: Church Security

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