Thieves storm Stansted Mountfitchet Castle and steal charity boxes

Marzena Makarewicz, of Mountfitchet Castle, Stansted with the remaining collection boxes

Marzena Makarewicz, of Mountfitchet Castle, Stansted with the remaining collection boxes - Credit: Archant

Three collection boxes were stolen from Mountfitchet Castle in Stansted at the weekend in a theft described by the owner as “sickening”.

Thieves broke into the visitor centre at the Essex attraction overnight on Saturday (April 23) through a front window, and stole three out of five charity tins, estimated to contain around £120 in total.

Damage was also caused to tills and amusement machines in the incident, which will cost the venue around £700 to repair.

Owner Jeremy Goldsmith said he will match what he estimated was stolen from the boxes and donate the money to the three charities involved – Guide Dogs, Animal Rescue and Animal Sanctuary UK.

He said: “It’s sickening really, and beyond low. They made a bit of a mess of the place, and caused some damage to tills and machines.

“It’s only after this happened to us that I learned there’s been a few other break-ins in Stansted, and it would have been good if the council had sent round a circular that this has been going on.

“We’ve got CCTV and the police say they’ve got a good set of fingerprints so we’re hopeful that someone might be caught.

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“I was just worried about my animals really, as we keep a lot of domestic animals here that are all rescue, and if you think that we had someone in here with a crowbar, it doesn’t make you feel very good.

“It’s just a sad situation, but we are going to match the amount in the boxes as best we can and send that to the charities involved to save their loss.”

A spokesperson for Essex Police said: “Police are investigating a burglary at Stansted Mountfitchet Castle gift shop, which took place between 8.30pm on Saturday, April 23, and 7.10am on Sunday, April 24.

“A quantity of cash was stolen and damage had been caused to the tills and vending machine. Anyone with information is asked to contact Essex Police on 101.”