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Need To Know: Police hunt ‘despicable’ Poppy Appeal thieves

■ Police hunt ‘despicable’ Poppy Appeal thieves

TWO men are being sought by police investigating the ‘despicable’ theft of a Poppy Appeal collection tin.

CCTV shows one suspect asking a hotel receptionist for a sheet of paper and another taking the money while staff are distracted.

The theft took place at the Renaissance Hotel on Nettleton Road near Heathrow Airport at around 11.30pm on November 9.

Detective Constable Kris Latham, from Aviation Police, said: ‘Stealing a Poppy Appeal charity tin, or indeed any charity donation, is a despicable act and we are determined to bring those responsible to justice.’

■ Grenfell ‘exploiter’ convicted of £90k fraud

A MAN who pretended to be a victim of the Grenfell Tower disaster, defrauding its genuine victims of nearly £90,000, has been jailed.

Abdelkarim Rekaya (pictured) enjoyed 209 nights in a four-star hotel, before being provided with a flat in Chelsea following last year’s catastrophic fire.

The 28-year-old, originally from Tunisia, kept his head bowed as Judge Giles Curtis-Raleigh described how he ‘chose to exploit a national tragedy’ and sentenced him to four years for fraud and six months for obtaining leave to remain by deception.

Rekaya had claimed to be sleeping rough in the tower on the night of the blaze, but prosecutor Catherine Farrelly told the court this was a ‘complete and utter lie’.

Rekaya is the latest in a string of fraudsters to be sentenced in relation to the disaster, with 13 people convicted and £630,000 in bogus claims uncovered so far.

■ Marriott warns hotel hack may have hit 500m guests

MARRIOTT has announced 500million guests’ data may have been exposed during breaches in a reservation database that began in 2014.

The ‘data security incident’ hit the chain’s Starwood portfolio, which includes Trump Turnberry in Ayrshire as well as London’s Park Lane Sheraton Grand, Westbury Mayfair and Le Meridien Piccadilly (pictured).

Up to half a billion guests who booked before September 10 could be affected, with the database storing passport numbers, dates of birth, names, addresses and phone numbers, as well as payment card numbers and expiration dates.

Marriott president and chief executive Arne Sorenson apologised and said they were doing everything they could to help guests.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has begun making inquiries over the breach and a spokeswoman advised people who may have been affected to be vigilant and follow advice about how to protect themselves on the ICO and National Cyber Security Centre websites.