Sussex Police has donated £500 to charity after a church minister had thousands of dollars stolen from her when she was in a Hove supermarket.
Reverend Lynda Hulcoop, minister at Southwick Christian Community Church, had gone to Sainsbury’s in Old Shoreham Road on January 23 to collect £7,500 worth of US dollars at the currency exchange.
It was ahead of a visit to Zimbabwe, where money raised by the church was set to go towards educational support, food and medical aid and a youth music project in the African country.
After collecting the money, police said Rev Hulcoop was followed out of the store by two women who then used sleight of hand to remove bundles of bank notes from the bag that she was carrying.
Following the theft the funds had to be borrowed in order for the church group to go ahead and continue with their trip.
Police decided to use money collected from confiscated property to donate to the Paraclete Christian Network International.
When presented with the cheque, Rev Hulcoop said: “I am extremely grateful to Sussex Police for their generosity and overall support throughout the investigation. Due to the police’s initial appeal for information following the theft we’ve had donations from people from all walks of life and managed to recuperate more than what was stolen. We are extremely thankful.”
Police investigator Caroline McConnell said: “I am so pleased we were able to donate money to such a worthy cause and a hard working group of people. I would also like to take this opportunity to renew our initial appeal and ask anyone who recognises either of the women in the CCTV image to contact police.”
Anyone with information on the theft should report online or call 101 with the reference 1054 of 23/01. Alternatively contact the Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.