This is one of those stories that just turns your stomach while reading. I’ve seen far too many stories like this one over the past few years (although even one is too many).
Once again, yet another sizable chunk of money has been stolen from an air ambulance charity in the UK.
Approximately 5000 GBP in cash (just about $8000 USD) that by all rights should go to the Dorset and Somerset air ambulance services has ended up in the hands of some two-bit thieves once again.
According to the article in This is Somerset, a pub called the Black Horse had been raising funds for the air ambulance charity in a re-used water cooler jug. Out of the goodness of their hearts, the pub’s regulars had been depositing cash to support the air ambulance in the bottle over the past year.
Thanks to those regulars’ generosity, the heavy repurposed container was almost filled to the top with British sterling at the time of the robbery. The money that the non-government-funded air ambulance desperately needs to keep its helicopters flying and saving lives in the region has instead ended up in the hands of some greedy criminals.
It isn’t yet known who stole the funds, but it’s believed that a group of men may have made off with the money before the pub’s business hours using a plastic bin with wheels taken from a nearby church.
It’s safe to assume there were multiple people involved in the raid, since the 5000 GBP collected in the large water bottle would be extremely heavy for one person to carry alone. In addition, a witness said she had seen three men pushing a bin down the road around the same time the crime is believed to have occurred.
According to the TIS article, the pub’s landlord was suitably disgusted by the act. “I can’t believe these lowlifes would do what they have done,” he said. “They are nothing but scum of the earth. They had to go past my cash machine, hundreds of pounds worth of spirits at the bar and other charity collection tins but ignored them all.
This is an interesting point. The thieves ignored the register, the alcohol, and even collections for other charities. It’s clear that whoever was involved in the raid, it had likely been planned. They had plenty of opportunities to steal once they had broken into the pub. The only thing they cared about taking was the air ambulance money.
Any locals with information that may help the police should contact them immediately by dialing 101 and referencing crime number 94472/12.
The air ambulance operating costs work out to about 1.4 million pounds a year — about 3,800 pounds a day. Despite the operating costs associated with the essential emergency service, the air ambulance receives absolutely no government funding of any kind and depends entirely upon the donations of charitable people.
To make a donation to the Somerset & Dorset air ambulance service (and help offset this crime), visit: http://www.dsairambulance.org.uk/donate-today/