A ‘hero plumber’ has been left heartbroken after two people who came in looking for help stole aftershave from his charity shop.

James Anderson, who runs Depher, said that the shop staff had just given the men free nappies and wipes before they decided to steal the aftershave on Monday (February 20).

In a video he posted on the Depher Twitter page, James said: “These two gentlemen came in looking for support. We gave them that support, we gave them free nappies and wipes.

“At the same time as we were giving our hand out of generosity and support for them, they took the opportunity to steal a bottle of aftershave.

“This was caught on camera from many different angles of how they did it.

“It is so heart-breaking to know that myself, my staff, my family, my staffs family and supporters from over the United Kingdom and parts of the world who have fought tirelessly and given the last penny and many special moments in their lives to build Depher into what it is today have been disregarded because somebody wants to steal.

“Now if you had said to be, I really need it for a birthday or for a present or for someone who is really ill I would have given it to you with open arms.

“Depher was built upon a promise, a promise to my son. When you steal from Depher you also steal a memory of my little boy by blatantly being so horrendous in your actions.

“I am heartbroken to know that no matter what we do, no matter how hard we try, there is always going to be somebody that want to just pull the cards down.

“So please, if you do get to see this video whoever you may be, please just ask people if you need something. Please just tell people your story and they will help you. Please don’t steal.

“My heart is aching now. I am thinking, who is going to come in tomorrow and steal? Who is going to come in the day after and steal? Who has already been in and stolen.

“It’s a horrible thing to think, don’t steal. Please, if you need it just ask, you can have it.”

James said the pair hid a £50 bottle of cologne behind baby supplies they'd got for free at his store.

Lancashire Telegraph: James Anderson, founder of Depher CICJames Anderson, founder of Depher CIC (Image: NQ)

The incident has been reported to Lancashire Constabulary. No arrests have been made and enquiries are ongoing.

If you have any information, you can report it by contacting police on 101 with crime reference number 04/36810/23.

Depher CIC is a community interest company set up by James in 2017 after he visited a pensioner who had been ripped off by a boiler engineer.

He then realised that more vulnerable members of the community could also be victim to similar experiences and wanted to do something about it.

Now, Depher not only helps people in Burnley and East Lancashire but helps communities across the country, with James hoping to soon have a Depher employee in every town and city in the country.