The box was reported stolen on Nov. 5 from a restaurant in Palmerston, which is about 60 kilometres northwest of Guelph.
Police said a man walked up to the counter at around 5:40 a.m. and grabbed the donation box off the counter before leaving.
He returned to steal a second box later in the day but was unsuccessful, OPP said in a news release on Friday.
A 43-year-old man was arrested on Nov. 8 after an employee at the Main Street West restaurant called the police to report that the suspect had returned.
Police said the suspect allegedly gave officers a false name while being arrested, but he was recognized from another investigation in a neighbouring community.
The stolen cash from the restaurant’s poppy box was not recovered, but police say they found a replica handgun and marijuana while searching him.
Thomas Cunningham of Guelph faces a number of charges, including theft, breaching probation, obstructing police and possession of cannabis for the purpose of selling.
He was held in custody pending a bail hearing.