Shropshire charity shop staff devastated after burglars strike
Devastated charity shop workers in Bridgnorth and Much Wenlock have spoken of their shock after being targeted by burglars.
The burglars raided the Mind shop in Waterloo Terrace, Bridgnorth, in the early hours of yesterday. They caused damage that will take a whole day to fix, as well as smashing glass in the main door and messily searching the building.
Thieves also broke into the Cancer Research shop on the same terrace. The Cuan Wildlife charity shop was also hit in Much Wenlock.
It comes after months of charity shop burglaries in and around Shropshire. On Sunday the British Heart Foundation shop in Welshpool was hit, while three charity shops were targeted in Ludlow on Friday. There was also a prolonged spate of charity shop raids in Oakengates, Telford, where some shops were burgled as many as three times, as well as in Shifnal.
Little was taken from the Mind shop in Bridgnorth except for a tablet computer worth about £50, but the loss of takings will cost the charity hundreds of pounds.
Jenny Day, assistant manager at Mind Bridgnorth, said: “It’s just a mess. They went through the store room and kitchen – believe it or not, they had even opened the microwave door.
“They have been everywhere looking for stuff. They must have made a good job of smashing the door too, because the glass is all over the shelves and the floor. We have had to strip off the shelves, because we couldn’t allow customers back into the shop until it’s safe.
“What the thieves don’t realise is that Mind has a specific aim of what they’re going to do for the whole year. They know how much money they have to raise for that, and they promise it to the service unit. This is going to put us short.
“If these people ever need mental health care, I hope they think about what they’ve done. It’s absolutely despicable.”
The staff are now talking about increasing security at the shop, and have said they will give up on tea, biscuits and other ‘petty cash’ type items to raise the money if needed.
“Bridgnorth is such a wonderful town, and we have such wonderful donors who give us wonderful stuff,” Jenny said. “Then someone comes in and does something like this. People give out of their heart and want to support the cause. Some might have had some mental issues themselves and want to help out, then some idiot comes in and does this.
"It's just mind boggling. We're going to look at our finances and look up and see if we can get a camera in there.
"Even if we have to forego some petty cash to put the money to the camera, that's what we'll have to do."
Staff at Cuan Wildlife Centre must also cover the cost of things that were stolen and pay to fix the damage.
Anna Nicholas, charity manager at Cuan Wildlife Centre, said: “We are devastated, really. It is horrible to be broken into in any sense but let alone a charity.
“All the money we raise goes back into the charity, the wildlife centre. We serve the wildlife of Shropshire. We are such a family-run, personal charity – we are quite small, so literally all the money we raise goes back into what we do.”
Police are investigating to see whether the latest break-ins are linked to three similar incidents in Ludlow on January 27.
Anybody with information is asked to call police on 101. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or at crimestoppers-uk.org