A woman wearing a headscarf is suspected of in the theft of a donation can for U.K. veterans in a case that has caused outrage across British social media, the U.K. Daily Mail reports.
According to the Mail, the theft was just one of two that happened on Sunday’s Remembrance Day — the U.K. version of Veterans Day.
The tins were for Poppy Appeal, a veterans organization that raises money for the Royal British Legion. The cans are placed in stores and other prominent places so that donations can be made by customers should they so wish.
The first theft happened at a news stand in Andover, Hampshire, 11:45 a.m. According to the Daily Mail, which posted surveillance videos of the incidents, the woman in the headscarf “calmly waits for her moment and then grabs the charity tin and escapes with” the can
Less than an hour and a half later, in Ludgershall, Wiltshire, a similarly dressed woman made away with a can at a convenience store after another woman was able to distract workers there.
Given the similar appearance between the perpetrator of the first Poppy Appeal tin robbery and the second, plus the fact that the two locations were five miles apart, it didn’t take long for people to start making the connection.
“It’s absolutely shocking that someone could do this,” said Susan Connolly, manager of the Spar store.
“It’s just completely disgusting to steal the Poppy Appeal tin on Remembrance Sunday.
“One distracted the girl behind the counter while the other just swept it under her dress,” she said. “After I posted the video, it went mad, its had over 100,000 views.”
‘We are greatly disturbed to hear of the theft of poppy collecting tins,” said Tristan Nichols, spokesman for the Royal British Legion.
“This loss will deprive those in the Service and ex-Service community and their families of much needed assistance and support from the Legion.”
Both women are still at large and there’s no evidence as of yet to suspect that the headscarf was religious in nature.
However, since the 2013 murder of British soldier Lee Rigby by Muslim terrorists Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, as well as U.K.-based hate preachers like Anjem Choudary who have expounded against the British military on radical Islamist grounds, the subject is a sensitive one.
For all we know, this woman was using a headscarf to avoid being identified and caught.
If it’s otherwise, however, there’s going to be plenty of outrage in England — you can bet on that much. This is a country that has seen more than its share of Islamist terrorism lately.