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Pendle businessman's sting nails charity thief
1:49pm Wednesday 30th November 2011 in Barrowford
A BUSINESSMAN told how he set a trap for a charity box thief who stole money raised for a disabled boy.
Miles Whitfield, 36, of Browning Close, Colne, was given a community order for stealing a Robin’s Dream charity tin from De Santis mini-market, Gisburn Road, Barrowford.
He was told to pay compensation to the family of Robin Carter, six, of Earby, who has cerebral palsy.
Whitfield had gone into the mini-mart touting for business as a builder.
He asked to speak to owner Mario De Santis about a new roof, and left his number.
But when staff turned their backs, he stole the charity box.
Later Mario, 35, and his staff watched CCTV and recognised Whitfield as the thief.
Mario explained: “After a couple of days I rang and asked him to see me about doing some work.
"When he arrived I kept him talking and I knew it was the man who had stolen the money.
"Meanwhile, one of my staff rang the police and when they arrived I showed them everything.
"He was arrested.”
Mario, who beat cancer himself aged 16 and lost his dad to the disease, has raised thousands of pounds for the Robin’s Dream charity through takings from his restaurant.
He said: “I never believed I would see someone do such a thing. He stole a box with £100 in it for a little boy with a big dream.
"I felt so upset, I felt disgusted by what happened. That’s why I had to help.”
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