Police have released photographs of a man and woman believed to be responsible for the theft of Poppy Appeal tins in Essex.

Officers now want to talk to Lulia Ghitoi and Liviu Ghitoi whose last known address was in east London.

It is not known if they are married or are brother and sister.

They are also believed to be responsible a theft from a shop in Witham.

The Poppy Appeal thefts happened on the afternoon of Remembrance Sunday, November 11 when a man and a woman stole Royal British Legion collecting tins at the Costcutter store in Main Road, Hockley, from the Tates Spar shop in West Street Rochford and from Saunders Food and Wine in Ashingdon Road, Rochford.

Investigating officer DS Rob Kirby said: "We would like to thank the public for the positive response in relation to the theft of three poppy tins on Remembrance Day.

"After investigating these responses and conducting internal enquiries, we would now like to question Lulia Ghitoi who is aged 31 and Liviu Ghitoi, 22, in connection with these thefts. It is thought both are living in the Barking area of East London, but attempts to arrest them have so far been unsuccessful.

"They are also wanted in connection with a theft which occurred in September 2012 where a mobile phone was stolen from behind the counter in a shop in Maldon Road, Witham.

"We would also urge any other retailers or shopkeepers who think these two suspects have been in their shops to review their CCTV footage and report any further thefts that come to light.

"We are now appealing to anybody who knows of the whereabouts of either person to contact us. This appeal would include friends and family of the suspects themselves to search their conscience and help us bring to justice the people responsible for this despicable offence where money donated to help war heroes was stolen on the very day dedicated to respecting their memory.”

Anyone with information should contact the Rayleigh Area Investigation Team on 101.