Belfast Telegraph

Heartless thieves hit charity shop for second time

by Chris McCann

Unscrupulous robbers stole tea and coffee from a Holywood cancer charity shop — the second time it has been targeted in recent months.

Thieves got into the Cancer Research shop by ripping tiles off the roof on both occasions. The latest, over the Christmas and New Year’s break, saw £130 cash and a collection box stolen.

Back in mid-November, robbers took £160 cash, ripped the safe off the wall, emptied the collection box and made off with the shop’s tea and coffee supplies.

Manager of the shop Paul Stirk said everyone involved at the shop was gutted by the double blow.

“It’s bad enough breaking into any shop, but breaking into a charity shop appears worse. In terms of a charity shop, what they took in cash was worth around half a day’s takings. Then we lost half a day’s trading waiting on the clean up team coming in, as we weren’t allowed to touch anything.”

Mr Stirk had this message for those behind the robberies: “I just hope you never need our services, because only then will you realise what we do and how you have affected it. Everyone is shocked at being targeted twice now.”

DUP North Down MLA Alex Easton condemned those responsible, describing the break-ins as “appalling”. He said: “I totally condemn the actions of these robbers in robbing this charity shop. Once again we see it targeted. This is appalling. I appeal to anyone with information to bring it forward to the police without delay.”

Anyone who noticed any unusual activity in the area or who has any information is asked to contact police at Holywood on 0845 600 8000. Information can also be passed anonymously to the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.

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