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Guelph man charged in poppy donation box theft: OPP

Poppy donation box
A poppy donation box was reported stolen on Nov. 5 from a restaurant in Palmerston. Global News

Wellington County OPP say a Guelph man has been arrested following a poppy donation box theft north of the Royal City.

The box was reported stolen on Nov. 5 from a restaurant in Palmerston, which is about 60 kilometres northwest of Guelph.

READ MORE: 10 Regina poppy boxes stolen, some on Remembrance Day

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.

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Police said the suspect allegedly gave officers a false name while being arrested, but he was recognized from another investigation in a neighbouring community.

Poppy box thief caught on camera in Okotoks
Poppy box thief caught on camera in Okotoks

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.

READ MORE: Suspect arrested in 1 of 2 poppy donation box thefts in Kitchener

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.