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Heartless crooks are stealing from a charity shop raising money for dying children.

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The newly opened Little Havens Hospice shop in High Street, Hornchurch, is having to install CCTV to deter thieves.

The charity says theft in Hornchurch has been worse than at any of its 15 other stores.

Shop manager, Charlotte Horrod, said: “Our new customers have been so welcoming and we’re very grateful to them for their support, both in donating items and shopping with us.

“But just last week a shoplifter stole two shirts, right in front of me. I couldn’t believe it and it’s happening every week.”

The charity needs to raise £46,000 a week to be able to care for the seriously ill children and families who rely on its care at its hospice in Thundersley, Essex, and its shops are a steady source of income.

The hospice estimates that 10-15 items a week are being stolen at the store – meaning they could be losing £2,000 a year if the trend continues.

It is taking action by installing CCTV cameras.

Trading director, Trevor Johnson, said, “Little Havens is part of Havens Hospices and we have 16 charity shops in total.

“The shoplifting we’ve experienced in Hornchurch has been significantly higher than in any of our other shops.

He added: “It’s saddening to see people stealing goods that have been donated to help the children and families we care for.”

For more information about donating to or volunteering in your local Little Havens charity shop, please visit www.havenshospices.org.uk.

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