A leading children’s charity is calling for public support after heartless thieves broke into two of its popular shops.
The East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) premises in Lime Kiln Lane, Thetford, were raided on 5th December and there was a further break-in at Hadleigh’s High Street store on Sunday 12th December.
Thieves smashed the shop window at Thetford, ripped its safe off the wall and stole cash, high-value items and goods from the shop floor.
It is thought the overall cost to EACH, which supports families and provides care for children and young people across the region, is over £6,500.
This includes around £3,000-worth of stolen high-value goods, notably laptops and tablet computers, in addition to £540 cash.
Fortunately, less was taken at Hadleigh, although there will be significant costs as thieves smashed their way through two doors.
Both shops lost further income as they closed to repair the damages.
Ian Nicolson, EACH Director of Retail and Trading, described the break-ins as a “real hammer-blow”.
However, he is calling on the public to show solidarity by making donations to cover costs and damages – and well as helping fund new security alarms.
“We’re working closely with the police and helping them with their enquiries,” said Ian.
“A number of high-value items were taken at Thetford, in the process causing a considerable amount of damage, and then we had the break-in at Hadleigh.
“It’s shocking and saddening, given that we rely so heavily on profits from our shops.
“This year alone, we need to raise £5.4 million in retail income so for this to happen is a real hammer-blow, particularly in the run-up to Christmas.
“We have insurance for the cash lost and to cover the damage caused. However, unfortunately, business insurance doesn’t cover second-hand goods.”
EACH has now had a security system installed at the Thetford shop and is hopeful a business or major donor steps forward to help cover the £1,000 bill.
A special donation page has been set up here for anyone wishing to contribute.
“We can’t risk this happening again so instantly had an alarm fitted,” said Ian.
“It came at considerable expense, though, so we’re appealing for support and hoping people or a business get behind us.
“Anyone willing to put their hands in their pockets would be doing an incredibly kind thing.
“Every little helps and we’d also love to hear from any businesses, donors or trusts that might be interested in helping us recover our losses.”
Replacing the smashed window at Thetford cost £550 while the shop lost around £300 in takings as it was closed all day on Monday.
Anyone with information about the break-in at Thetford should call 101 and quote the Crime Reference Number 36/90961/21.