An east Ottawa restaurant owner is leading the charge to find a man that broke in and stole a poppy box just after Remembrance Day.

Sam Karkache said surveillance tape caught someone breaking into Lorenzo’s Pizzeria on Arch Street around 1 a.m. Nov. 12, taking the box full of donations.

“It's so sad that people can actually steal from people who restored your freedom . . . that actually put their life on the line to make sure that you have a life,” he said.

“Stealing from veterans, it's just sad. It's pathetic.”

Karkache said the thief first tried to break in through the patio doors, eventually smashing through two glass doors at the front entrance to get into the closed restaurant and snatch the box.

He’s posted a picture of the suspect on the front doors of the restaurant in hopes it will help catch them.

“To have someone violate basically our home and insult our veterans with such a horrible act makes all of us very angry,” said David Morrison, the son of a Korean War veteran.

“It's something you just don't do, taking money away that would normally go to the vets who already don't have that much to start with,” said Mark Moroz.

Karkache said he’s told police about the theft and hopes whoever did it can be caught.

“Hopefully he can be picked up and punished for what he's done,” he said.

A poppy box was also stolen from Lorenzo’s in 2011, but Karkache said he'll still participate in the campaign next year - along with potentially upgrading his security cameras.

With a report from CTV Ottawa’s Claudia Cautillo