Staff and volunteers at Rennie Grove Hospice Care’s charity shop in Holmer Green received a nasty New Year shock when they arrived to open the shop on Tuesday 3 January to find the safe missing and extensive damage following a break-in.
Thieves targeted the shop in Pond Approach at some point between the shop closing at 1pm on New Year’s Eve and the morning of 3 January. Having failed to gain entry via the rear door to the property, the thieves broke through a boarded up, unused side door, causing considerable damage, before proceeding to remove the safe from the office which was securely bolted to the wall.
Deborah Gould, Director of Retail and Trading at Rennie Grove Hospice Care said:
“Usually we bank the takings from our shops on a daily basis, but unfortunately because of the extended Christmas break there was about £1,300 in the safe. Robberies are always a horrible thing but it is particularly low to steal from a charity shop. Even without the costs of the repairs, the money stolen would have funded over 50 hours of nursing care provided by our specialist nurses for local patients in their own homes.”
Shop Manager, Bridget Brookland summed up the feelings of local people:
“What is especially sad is that this is such a lovely community shop. We have around 50 fantastic volunteers all of whom live within a radius of about a mile and who give their time to help ensure we make as much money as possible from the donations of quality clothes and goods made by other local people. It is a fantastic example of how local communities can help themselves as the money raised is in turn used to help care for local patients with cancer or another life-limiting illness and provide support for their families.
“I see first-hand every day how hard our volunteers work and how caring local people are when they donate their items to us and it is so disappointing to see a proportion of this cancelled out by one callous act.”
The South Bucks Hospice charity shop in Hazlemere was also broken into over the same weekend and the safe containing several hundred pounds was stolen.
Many thanks to local resident, Jane Roberts, who has kindly set up a Justgiving page to raise money to help compensate for the money stolen from both shops. We are very grateful for this support.
Anyone with any information about the robbery should contact Thames Valley Police on 101.