Burglars steal £575 from charity shop in Upminster that helps terminally ill children

Charity shop manager Frank Booth with the damaged door way

Charity shop manager Frank Booth with the damaged door way - Credit: Archant

Burglars broke into a children’s charity shop, stole £575 cash and caused hundreds of pounds worth of damage.

They smashed their way through the front door of the Richard House Hospice charity shop in Corbets Tey Road, Upminster, overnight on Tuesday and Wednesday last week.

When volunteers came to open the shop Wednesday morning they found the door and inside of the shop damaged, and the safe stolen.

Frank Booth, cover manager at the shop, said: “They smashed the till and took the float, then went upstairs and smashed through the security door to steal the safe. They took the money inside, but the damage they caused has cost more than that.

“The safe was downstairs before, but after the last attempted break in we moved it upstairs. They must have come back to try again.”

The front door has since been fixed and they will be stepping up security to include new shutters, a safe and CCTV cameras.

The hospice shops have been targeted twice before recently. A couple of weeks ago thieves tried to get in through the back door of the Upminster shop but failed. In March, £700 worth of stock was stolen from the shop in Victoria Road, Romford, including three bikes and a DVD player. Police believe they got into the shop through two outbuildings at the back of the shop.

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Mr Booth added: “All the money we raise goes directly to the hospice to help and care for ill children. The money is going to be missed and we have lost a day by tidying up.”

A hospice spokesman said: “Following the break-ins over recent months, we are reviewing the security measures at all of our charity shops.

“It is extremely disappointing that criminals have targeted shops of a local charity that provides free services to children with life-limiting health conditions and their families in the local community.”