A CREW of RNLI volunteers have been left “shocked and saddened” after two charity boxes and hundreds of pounds were stolen from their lifeboat station in broad daylight.

On Monday, 4 September a large, novelty charity box – shaped like an RNLI lifeboat – was stolen from the front door of the station in Criccieth, where it and its predecessors had sat unhindered for nearly 100 years.

The box, which is likely to have been stolen by at least two people due to its size and weight, held an estimated £200 in coins.

Fortunately, the notes in the box had been removed the weekend prior to the theft.

The charity box, which raises approximately £4,000 for the station every year, was recovered three days later from The Newborough Arms car park, Bontnewydd, but had sustained heavy damage.

The second shocking theft took place just eight days later on Tuesday, when a ‘roll-a-penny box’, carrying an estimated £400 to £500, was also lifted from the front door of the lifeboat station.

A shop volunteer, a woman in her 80s, heard a noise and saw a white car drive off “in a hurry” around lunchtime.

Peter Williams, operations manager at the station, was distraught.

“It’s a very rotten thing to have happened, we are all very upset at the station,” he told the Cambrian News.

“The first box, or one like it, has been there since the station reopened in the 1950s – there are even photos dating back to the ‘20s showing one there – and we’ve never had a moment’s trouble.

“The second one has always helped draw people in from the busy street outside and has been a vital source of contributions.

Read the full story in today’s Arfon/Dwyfor edition of the Cambrian News