Three Stone charity shops on the High Street were hit by burglars last night or in the early hours of this morning (22nd February).
The Cancer Research, Age UK and British Heart Foundation shops were all targeted, as well as Crick and Mardling solicitors.
The thieves took jewellery and watches valued at around £300 from the Cancer Research shop, but manager Liz Reynolds said the cost of repairs to her store could run into several hundred pounds.
She said: “We’ve got a broken window at the back and they smashed through the ceiling to get into the main shop. It will cost hundreds to repair, and that all has to come out of the shop’s takings, meaning less money for cancer research, which is what we’re here to fund. The shop was already in danger of missing its targets for this year – now we’ll never do it.
“They’ve ransacked upstairs. They’ve gone through boxes of costume jewellery and everything. They were obviously trying to find the key to the till as well as drawers just by it were all over the place. You can’t believe that someone would target a charity shop. It’s incredibly upsetting.”
Across the road at the British Heart Foundation, it seems that burglars used a similar tactic – ceiling tiles were removed by the raiders from upstairs to get into the main shop. The Age UK shop, meanwhile, was closed today as staff cleared up the mess. Police said that cash, costume jewellery and clothing had been stolen. It’s not yet known what was taken from British Heart Foundation or Crick and Mardling.
A Staffordshire Police spokeswoman said that the incidents are being investigated, including whether or not they are linked. The Cancer Research break-in happened sometime between 4.45pm on Thursday and 8.30am this morning.
Anyone with any information should call Staffordshire Police on 101 quoting incident number 111 of February 22 or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.