Charity thief swoops on air ambulance donation

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A THIEF posing as an air ambulance volunteer stole a bag of charity donations while cheerily reassuring his victim he was taking them “before somebody pinched them”.

The man, who was working with an accomplice, pulled up outside the home of Keith Oag in Long Lawford and collected a bag full of items Mr Oag had set aside for the air ambulance. A minute later, a genuine air ambulance volunteer pulled up in a van with the air ambulance’s logo on it, but it was too late.

Mr Oag said: “I handed the bags over, making the comment that they were early. The driver’s assistant said, ‘we have to get here early to stop them being pinched before we get here’. I was conned and the air ambulance charity had lost out.

“I was aware that this sort of thing happens but not as blatant as this. Needless to say, I felt a right idiot. It was a pity I did not get the van’s registration number.”

The theft appears to be opportunistic as the thieves pulled up as Mr Oag was putting out his bag of donations.

He added: “It’s a terrible thing to have happened, I’m a keen golfer and have seen first hand how good the air ambulance service is when dealing with golfers who collapse on the course.”

The Air Ambulance Service (TAAS) has warned the public to be aware of people fraudulently claiming to be the charity.

A spokesperson for the charity said: “We are doing our utmost to clamp down on these people by reporting them as soon as possible. If anyone has any doubt about the legitimacy of their bag collectors, they can call us on 08454 130999.”