A THIEF hid inside a Christian bookshop in Stamford before picking his moment to empty the cash register.
The man targeted the CLC shop in St George's Street at about 3.30pm on Friday, January 19.
After speaking briefly to manager Phil Inman, the raider tricked him into thinking he had left the store before helping himself to 73 from the till.
Mr Inman, who was on his own at the time, said: "I heard the doorbell, which goes off whenever the door is opened and closed, and I came out of the office to find a youngish chap in the shop.
"He asked if we only sold Christian books and when I said yes he turned to leave. I turned to go back to the office and heard the bell again, so I assumed he had gone.
"But he must have been hiding in the corner because a couple of minutes later, when the bell went for a third time, I came out to see him walking briskly towards High Street looking back as he went."
It was only when Mr Inman served his next customer he realised all the notes had been taken from the till as well as some coins.
"Looking back, the man wasn't our usual type of customer and he seemed quite agitated when I spoke to him. It's sad that this kind of thing happens," he said.
The thief is described as white, in his mid-20s, and was wearing a dark, woollen, knee-length coat. He also had two distinguishing features – a sharply broken nose and a shaved head which was mottled, as though his hair wasn't all the same colour.
Police are studying town-centre CCTV footage in an effort to identify the thief, who Mr Inman said spoke with a local accent.
Anyone with any information should contact Lincolnshire Police on 01522 532222 and quote incident number 286 of January 19.