Volunteers say they are unnerved after ‘appalling’ burglars broke into a charity shop and stole a collection box.
The Donate and Dazzle shop in Main Steet, Huthwaite, was broken into sometime over the weekend of September 24-25 as volunteers discovered the smashed window on Monday morning, police confirmed.
Debbie Knowles from the shop said: “We feel violated. It’s appalling that someone could steal from a charity shop – what on earth would they expect to find in here?”
Debbie added: “They smashed a back window to get in and had to break through two other doors to get into the shop.”
The shop was opened in 2014 and raises funds and awareness for Hetty’s – a charity that supports families affected by substance misuse.
Burglars stole around £350 in cash, computer equipment used by the volunteers, and a collection box on the counter, raising money for Ryan Winnals – a young man who was badly beaten up because he was a ‘Goth’.
But together with the cost of repairing doors and windows the losses to the charity are almost £2,000 - equivalent to a month’s takings in the shop.
Debbie added: “It’s not the money and the goods - they took a collection box off the counter - that’s something the community have put money into.”
“The long-term repercussions for us are huge. Some of the more mature ladies are really nervous. We’re also going to have to ramp up security even further now.”
No arrests have been made and inquiries are ongoing. If you saw anyone suspicious in the area telephone police on 101 quoting incident number 151 of September 26.
The community response to the burglary has been ‘overwhelming’ for volunteers, said Debbie.
“People are coming out of the woodworks to help. Something great has come out of something traumatic.”
Ashfield District Councillor Lee Anderson is planning a charity auction to raise money to replace items lost from the shop, and help cover repairs.
He said: “To steal from a charity is the lowest form of theft imaginable – they’re beyond contempt.” “We’re hoping to return some of the money to them that they’ve lost.”
One of the volunteers at the charity has started an online appeal for donations - if you would like to help replace lost funds visit the Justgiving page here.