Guelph man charged in theft of poppy donation box

PALMERSTON – A Guelph man faces several charges after a suspect stole a poppy donation box from a restaurant here and then tried to steal a second box later the same day.

Wellington County OPP officials say that on Nov. 5 at 5:40am a man walked up to the counter and stole a poppy donation box. The same man returned later in the day and tried to steal a second box, but was unsuccessful.

Three days later, on Nov. 8 at about 12:30pm, the same man returned to the restaurant and an employee contacted police.

Later that afternoon, an OPP officer located the person matching the description on Main Street in Palmerston.

“The suspect attempted to obstruct police by providing a false name however, the officer recognized the person from an earlier broadcast regarding a similar incident in a neighbouring jurisdiction,” police stated in a press release.

OPP spokesperson Cheri Rockefeller told the Advertiser there was a poppy box theft recently in Perth County.

Police say that during a search of the Palmerston theft suspect officers found a replica handgun and a quantity of suspected drugs on the suspect.

Thomas Joseph Cunningham, 43, of Guelph, was charged with:

  • carrying a concealed weapon;
  • obstructing a peace officer;
  • theft under $5,000;
  • breach of undertaking;
  • three counts of breach of probation;
  • possession of cannabis for the purpose of selling.

He was held for a bail hearing.