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Suspect In Toronto Poppy Box Thefts Appears In Court

Nicholas Moorhouse, 34, appeared in court on Saturday charged with a string of poppy box thefts in Toronto this week.

Toronto police allege Moorhouse swiped three poppy boxes from different Tim Horton's restaurants.

He is charged with three counts of theft and one count of possession of property obtained by crime.

Moorhouse was ordered held in custody and will make his next court appearance on Nov. 20.

The first theft was Thursday at a restaurant on Gladstone Avenue near Bloor Street West. The thief approached the cashier grabbed the poppy box and took off.

Then, on Friday morning, another theft near Yonge and Shuter streets.

Late Friday night police arrested Moorhouse and charged him with the thefts.

The two arresting officers who captured Moorhouse are veterans.

Constables Rob Roman-Peck, who served in Afghanistan, and Ed Otten, who served in Bosnia, found Moorhouse with a poppy box on him that had $50 in it.

"Pretty much any theft from a charitable organization is pretty low, but especially this time of year. Stealing from the poppy boxes is about as low as you can go," said Romano-Peck.

It's the second arrest this week in Toronto connected to the theft of donation boxes.

Christopher Ethier, 31. was charged with thefts at a Tim Horton's, a beer store and a sandwich shop.

For Bill Muir, a WWII veteran, the thefts are "just a damn shame."

"I really felt disgusted," when he heard about the thefts, said Muir.

"It's a shame that someone would go that low, because that money is really needed for veterans — our current veterans coming back from Afghanistan."

Because of the thefts some businesses refusing to accept poppy boxes for fear they'll be stolen. Others are trying to prevent thefts by taping the boxes to the counter.

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