CCTV catches Saffron Walden charity shop burglary

Police want to speak to man caught on CCTV.

Police want to speak to man caught on CCTV. - Credit: Archant

An appeal has been launched to install a CCTV security system at the St Clare Hospice shop in Saffron Walden which was raided twice in 48 hours last week.

A neighbouring charity shop, Cancer Research, was raided the same time but the thief found only a handful of pound coins – and his face is clearly shown on the shop’s CCTV.

The footage shows a slim, white man in his 20s, dressed in black with a black beanie hat. He enters through a smashed window, while another figure keeps watch outside.

The intruder’s features are clearly visible as he moves round the premises and at one point faces the camera.

As we reported last week, thieves broke into three premises: two charity shops and Saks Hair Salon, in the early hours of Monday morning (August 17). At the St Clare Shop and Saks, cash was taken from the tills and GHD hair straighteners were also taken from the salon’s window.

On the first raid, the intruders tried and failed to open the safe at the St Clare shop.

But two nights later, in the early hours of Wednesday morning – they returned with stronger equipment and stole the safe. They also wrecked a security door which had just been repaired after the first break in.

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The cost of the damage to the St Clare Hospice shop – which supports people suffering from terminal illnesses and their families (see Page 21) is £2,500.

This sum, raised by donations from the public, would pay for two days of the charity’s Hospice at Home service, where dying people are cared for in their own homes.

Fiona Eaton, the charity’s head of retail, said: “The impact of the first incident was, thankfully, limited. Only a small amount of money was taken as the thieves failed to get into the safe.

“But the impact of the second break-in was much greater. This time, they stole the safe with a cash float plus the day’s takings. The thieves also damaged a brand new, empty cash till, due to replace the old till.

“We are looking at the cost of installing CCTV. But it’s really hard as a small charity, when you are trying to make sure the money raised goes towards the care we give to people who need it.

“It’s hard to find words to describe how upsetting it is for everyone, especially the shop staff and volunteers, who work so hard. To think that anyone would be so heartless or desperate to target the shop twice in this way and take away vital funds for improving the lives of local people living with life-limiting illnesses, someone who could perhaps be a relative or friend of the culprits, is shocking.”

If any person or business would like to sponsor or donate CCTV to protect the St Clare Hospice shop in Saffron Walden, please call 01279 773750 or go to

If you have any information about the break-ins, call police on 101.