‘Heartbreak’ at charity thefts

Butterfly Hospice charity volunteers clear up items strewn outside the shop after thieves rifled through a bag left outside: Back (from left) ' Annie Clarke, Lyn Dicker; front ' Keith Williamson and Zaheer Younas.
Butterfly Hospice charity volunteers clear up items strewn outside the shop after thieves rifled through a bag left outside: Back (from left) ' Annie Clarke, Lyn Dicker; front ' Keith Williamson and Zaheer Younas.
0
Have your say

A CHARITY shop is asking generous donors not to leave bags of items on the doorstep after some were rifled through and items stolen.

Staff at the Butterfly Hospice shop in Spalding’s Station Street said it is “heartbreaking” that thieves are stealing items which people have handed over thinking they will help benefit the charity.

But manager Sue Alexander said theft from charity bags is a recurring problem and she believes thieves may be taking away whole bags as well as cherry-picking items from others.

She said: “If someone leaves a bag outside while the shop is closed and someone takes it away, the donor believes those items have gone to charity and we are none the wiser they were ever donated.

“It’s upsetting to think people are trying to help a good cause but these despicable thieves are stealing those goods for themselves.”

Mrs Alexander said the theft of bags was just one of the problems they face at the charity shop – which has also seen people breaking into the backyard and rifling through the rubbish skip.

Staff have also faced the horrible task of cleaning up human faeces from the yard on a number of occasions.

Mrs Alexander said on Tuesday: “It is truly disgusting. I really don’t know what they hope to find as it really is just filled with rubbish.

“We tried locking the skip but they brought along hacksaws and cut through.

“We have installed security lights in the yard, but they just help them see what they are doing, and we have better things to spend money on than installing cameras.”

The neighbouring Oxfam shop says it has similar problems and both charities have reported issues to police.

PCSO Tracy Mason said just last week she found a bag of good quality soft toys ripped open and the contents kicked around the floor.

She said: “It’s a real shame. Someone had wanted these toys to go to a new home where they would be loved by someone else, but now they will just go to landfill.””

Mrs Alexander said: “We would ask people to not leave things outside the shop.

“If they can’t get it here when we are open they can call the shop and we can arrange something.”