A loyal customer of an iconic pie and mash shop in Walthmstow has launched a Facebook campaign to find a much-loved till that was swiped in the middle of the night.
The ornamental brass till has sat behind the counter of the Grade II listed shop L. Manzes for nearly 90 years.
But it was stolen three weeks ago and now the hunt has begun to return the antique National Cash Register to its rightful home in north east London.
Tim Nicholls, who owns the cafe with his sister Jacqueline Cooper, told the Standard that the till had been there since the shop opened in 1929.
“It's always been there. But about three weeks ago someone smashed the window and broke into the shop at night and took the till,” he said, adding that, bizarrely, the only other thing stolen was dishwasher tablets.
“It is not worth much money – probably about £150,” he said. “But it has a lot of sentimental value. It was one of the artefacts that stood out in the shop.
“It would be lovely if one of the thousands of people out there on social media spotted something and could help us to get it back.”
A customer of Mr Nicholls’, Steve Read, wrote about the stolen till in a Facebook post that has since been shared almost 45,000 times in two days.
He wrote: “Please can you read and help. Someone broke into Manze's Pie & Mash shop in Walthamstow E17.
“Although there was little damage, they stole the brass till that has been part of the shop for 90 plus years and may try to sell it on.
“Its of such sentimental value to the Manze Shop and so many remember it, not worth a lot of money.”
A spokesman for the Met said: "Police were called at 2.59pm March 30 March to reports of a burglary at an address on High Street, E17.
"The burglary took place between about 5pm on March 29 March and 7am the following day. It is believed entry was gained by smashing a side window. An antique brass till was reported stolen."
Anyone with information about the burglary or the whereabouts of the till should contact police on 101 or @MetCC.