A British Red Cross van was ambushed on its way to collect goods for the Haiti earthquake appeal.
The van was stolen in St Mary's Road, Nunhead, south London, when a man flagged it down pretending a cat had been run over, before he jumped into the vehicle and sped off.
The van, registration KD06 EVY, had just dropped off donated goods at a Red Cross shop and was on its way to pick up more when the incident happened at about 11.30am yesterday.
It was the only Red Cross van covering the London area and crucially needed to collect stock.
Mark Astarita, director of fundraising for the British Red Cross, said: "This is a very sad thing to happen and now the DEC Haiti Earthquake Appeal may miss out on hundreds of pounds which would have gone to help those people struggling to cope following the devastating earthquake in Haiti.
"I urge the public to clear out their closets and take their unwanted goods to their local Red Cross shop, as now, more than ever, we need to raise as much money as possible."