The box was being used to collect money for the charity Meningitis Now, which the Millers Arms has been supporting for the past three to four years after a customer's son tragically died from meningitis and became an ambassador for the charity.
Greg Ballard, licensee of the pub, said: “It is filthy. I turned my back for two minutes to collect some glasses and it had gone."
The charity box was on a window sill behind the bar when it was taken. Ballard added: "I was gutted when I realised it had been taken. Everyone has said it is absolutely disgusting.
"I should imagine there was no more than £100 in there. What is that going to help him with?"
CCTV footage shared
The pub posted on its Facebook page: “For some time now, the Millers Arms has collectively been raising money for children with Meningitis. [On] Thursday 14 July, someone decided they needed it more and removed our collection pot. Today [Friday 15 July] I shall be going through the CCTV cameras, which will be given to the police.”
Comments on the post included: "That's terrible, hope you catch them" and "lowlife scum."
The pub has since shared the video of the charity box being stolen along with photographs from the CCTV footage of the suspect. The Metropolitan police have shared the imagery on their website and Twitter page.
Box hid in clothing
The police are appealing for information following the incident and said: “On 14 July at around 22.50, the suspect was drinking in the Millers Arms public house in Bexley Village, in the company of a pregnant woman.
“When the landlord momentarily left the bar area, the suspect was seen to walk behind the bar and pick up a charity box, before hiding it in his clothing and leaving the pub.”
Security can be a concern in pubs as a licensee was tied up in a pub robbery at the Black Bull in Great Eccleston, near Preston in Lancashire.
Also, in a separate incident, a pub manager was attacked by two of her co-workers from the Pheasant pub in Oldbury, Sandwell, West Mildands.