Staff left "devastated" after Saffron Walden charity shop raid

PUBLISHED: 12:52 09 January 2015 | UPDATED: 12:28 12 January 2015

Thieves smashed the glass doors of Oxfam and British Heart Foundation on King Street in Saffron Walden, as well as of St Clare Hospice on Mercer’s Row, last week, stealing cash and jewellery from two of the shops.

Thieves smashed the glass doors of Oxfam and British Heart Foundation on King Street in Saffron Walden, as well as of St Clare Hospice on Mercer's Row, last week, stealing cash and jewellery from two of the shops.

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Charity shop workers were left "devastated" after a raid on three premises in the town overnight on Tuesday resulted in shock for volunteers and a day's loss of trading.

Thieves smashed the glass doors of Oxfam and British Heart Foundation on King Street in Saffron Walden, as well as of St Clare Hospice on Mercer’s Row, overnight on Tuesday, January 6.

Police have now confirmed that £300 damage was caused to the St Clare Hospice shop, with the safe vandalised to the same value. £400 in cash was taken from the till, which sustained £100 worth of damage.

Cash and jewellery were also reported to have been taken from the British Heart Foundation shop during the raid.

Items removed include a number of silver Tiffany jewellery, various necklaces, two collection boxes containing money and various watches.

Both Oxfam and St Clare Hospice were closed on Wednesday, while staff cleared up the debris and Essex Police carried out their investigations.

St Clare Hospice retail manager, Fiona Eaton, said: “It was devastating for Janice, the shop manager, to discover the break in first thing in the morning and she had to close the shop all day to clear up.

“Her assistant manager and team of volunteers were very upset when they heard the news with many of them coming in to help get the shop ready to open the following day.

“Our shops are a vital source of income to fund St Clare’s expert care and support of local people affected by life-limiting illnesses. That anyone could be heartless enough to target charity shops is shocking,” she added.

In Bishop’s Stortford, five charity shops and two churces were broken into overnight on Thursday, January 8.

Anyone with information about the crime should contact PC 876 IRELAND at Saffron Walden Police station on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 535 111.

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