POLICE are hunting a callous serial thief who preys on vulnerable charity shops after a FOURTH raid on the same store.
In the latest theft the man snatched £70 from the shop’s till when the manager’s back was turned, before shoving her aside to escape.
The theft took place at Edinburgh’s Capability Scotland in the city’s Stockbridge area, with staff recognising the man instantly from earlier incidents.
Relief manager Dianne Faulkner, 58, who was manhandled by the brute, said she is certain that the culprit is the same thief from the previous times.
She said: “A customer asked the size of the skirt in the window and I went to find the size and heard the till open.“I turned round and saw the man had his hand over the till and was grabbing the money.
“I went straight to the door, which was only a couple of feet away from where I was, and grabbed his arm, but he pushed me away.
“I went to the till to see what had gone and there were no £5 notes in the till.
“So I phoned the police and then my boss.
“I think it’s dreadful, I was quite shaken.”
Another manager, Sean O’Brien, 44, said that the thief doesn’t even hide his appearance anymore.
He said: “The last time over £100 was taken – that was maybe six months ago, prior to that it happened twice.
“I’ve seen him in the shop at other times and recognised the description because of the way he behaves when he’s in the shop.
“He’s very obvious, he hangs around, standing near the till and the description is so similar.
“He wears the same jacket all the time, his hair, his build, his height are the same.
“So I think we can be fairly certain it’s the same guy.”
The man is described as being in his mid-20s, slim build, with a thin pale face and short dark hair.
He was wearing a grey hooded jogging top with black stripes down both arms.
A spokesman for Lothian and Borders Police said: “This was a despicable and opportunistic theft for what was a relatively small amount of money.
“We are keen to speak to anyone who was in the Raeburn Place or Deanhaugh Street area and has information that can assist us with our investigation.”