Dec 30 2010 by Chris Clements, Hamilton Advertiser
EX-Celtic star Harry Hood has offered a £500 reward for information on the thieves who stole charity cash from his Blantyre hotel.
Robbers made off with around £5000-worth of public donations at the Parkville Hotel during an overnight raid last week.
It is also believed that they stole a five-figure sum of money from a safe in the popular pub.
The Glasgow Road hotel was ransacked in the early hours of last Thursday morning, December 23.
Cleaning staff arrived at work as normal at around 6.30am to discover a number of doors open which would normally have been closed.
When it was found that thieves had broken into a safe on the premises, police were soon alerted.
The suspects stole a substantial sum from the bar - including floats, takings and staff tips - as well as cash bound for St Andrew’s Hospice and the pub’s OAP club.
A hard drive linked to the CCTV system was also stolen in a bid to avoid identification, it is thought.
Owner Harry (66) told the Advertiser police were determining how the thieves gained access to the Parkville.
The former striker, who owns a string of pubs in the area, expressed his disgust at the theft of charity cash.
“I don’t know exactly how the thieves got in,” he said.
“Whoever did this knew the pub inside out. They knew where all the money was located and there was very little mess.
“They also took a hard drive that linked up to the CCTV cameras so they couldn’t be identified.
“A substantial amount was taken, including floats, staff tips and the drawings from the previous day. No stock was taken at all.
“But what is worse is that so much charity money raised by the customers was stolen.”
Thieves also nicked around £4000 due to go to St Andrew’s Hospice, and almost £1000 for the pensioners’ social fund.
Harry said: “That is the important part. People raised this money to give back to the community, and any information given to the police would be welcome.
“People in the community care about these sorts of crimes.
“I am very sad and disappointed by this. I know these things happen and theft will never stop, but these people only care about themselves.
“I hope the thieves are happy spending money that was to help those in need.”
As well as tightening security at the Parkville Hotel, Harry will also be offering £500 for information that can lead to an arrest.
Detective Inspector David Tassie, leading the police investigation, said: “This is truly a despicable crime. Anyone who would even contemplate stealing charity money to help those suffering from cancer is absolutely disgusting.
“Two days before Christmas, they also took a sum of money raised in the community to help local pensioners.
“This is a tight-knit community, and I know someone will have information that can help us find those responsible for this.
“Anyone with any information should contact Blantyre Police Office on 01698 202500.
“Alternatively Crimestoppers can be contacted on 0800 555 111.”