Cash stolen in overnight break-in at Weston Hospicecare shop

PUBLISHED: 12:00 15 February 2019

Weston Hospicecare’s Milton Road shop assistant manager Cat Murphy, manager Diane Poulson, area manager Lisa Johns and retail director Gemma Turner outside the burgled shop.

Weston Hospicecare's Milton Road shop assistant manager Cat Murphy, manager Diane Poulson, area manager Lisa Johns and retail director Gemma Turner outside the burgled shop.

Archant

Heartless burglars stole cash from a Weston charity shop during an overnight break-in.

A staff area was ransacked by computers.A staff area was ransacked by computers.

The thieves forced their way into Weston Hospicecare’s Milton Road store through a fire door in the early hours of Thursday morning before ransacking a staff area and helping themselves to a small amount of cash.

They also rifled through drawers and stole a hospice collecting tin, before smashing a glass door at the front of the shop.

Weston Hospicecare’s retail director Gemma Turner has condemned the criminals for stealing money which would have been used to help people with life-limiting conditions.

She said: “It’s terribly upsetting for the whole team to arrive and find the shop in such a state.

Assistant manager Cat Murphy and manager Diane Poulson, whose Milton Road shop was targeted by burglars.Assistant manager Cat Murphy and manager Diane Poulson, whose Milton Road shop was targeted by burglars.

“We will now have to go to the expense of installing expensive security equipment and cameras, and it will cost us money to have the doors repaired and re-glazed and to clean up too.

“This will have a direct impact on the care we are able to give to our patients, which is of course the main purpose behind our shops.

“I would, however, like to say a big thank you to the Milton Road shop team for their calm and professional response to the incident, and to the police for getting investigators onsite so quickly.

“We will now turn our attention to cleaning up the damage, and look to get the shop open again.

“We’ve been enormously grateful to the Milton Road community for supporting this shop since it opened in summer 2017, and look forward to resuming normal service as soon as possible.”

It is thought the thieves may have secured entry by tampering with a fire door while posing as customers during the day, and then forcing the vulnerable door with a crowbar that night.

Witnesses reported seeing two people exiting an alley which runs alongside the premises at around 12.40am on Thursday – around the same time as a neighbour heard a noise which he had assumed to be customers dropping off a stock donation.

Police carried out a forensic examination at the scene, followed by door-to-door enquiries.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Avon and Somerset Constabulary on 101.

The Milton Road shop – which sells clothes, books, games and bric-a-brac – will reopen this morning (Friday).

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