Failed charity theft at Lincoln College

Police are searching for two men who escaped after being caught attempting to steal money from a charity bottle in Lincoln College bar last Thursday.

They entered the bar whilst it was closed between 2:45pm and 3pm, and noticed an unattended collection bottle for VacProj, a Lincoln-run charity which raises money to give up to 40 disadvantaged Oxford children a holiday each year.

College staff saw the men emptying the bottle into their coat pockets and confronted them, but the men then dropped the money and escaped on foot before the police could arrive.

A Thames Valley Police spokesman said: “We are currently looking at CCTV footage of the area to try and get a description of the suspects and are encouraging any witnesses who saw anybody acting suspiciously in the area at the time to come forward and speak to us.”

The president of VacProj, second year English student Nick Barclay, expressed his shock at the attempted theft, saying: “I’m disappointed that someone would do something like that. Obviously it was labelled as a charity bottle, and lots of people have donated. VacProj is a charity entirely run by students of Lincoln College which seeks to give disadvantaged children from the area a holiday and a break from home.”

He also expressed his relief at having the money returned, commenting: “We’re very grateful to anyone who was involved in stopping the theft and returning the money to us.”

Lincoln acknowledged the theft but declined to make further comment on the advice of the police.

Anybody with information can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or alternatively the Thames Valley CID on 101.