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'Despicable' charity shop thieves made off with safe containing £500
POLICE are hunting hard-hearted raiders who fled with a safe containing hundreds of pounds worth of takings from a Highcliffe charity shop.
The thieves forced entry through a rear door of the Salvation Army’s Lymington Road premises between Saturday afternoon and 8.50am yesterday.
When shocked staff arrived for work after the weekend they discovered the shop had been burgled and the safe was missing. There are reports that the safe contained around £500 in cash.
Yesterday forensics officers were searching the premises for clues. An employee refused to comment on the raid but Dorset police confirmed that an investigation had been launched.
A spokesman said: “The thieves gained entry through a rear door before taking a safe containing a quantity of cash.”
An outraged woman, who contacted the Daily Echo about the crime, said: “Burgling a charity shop is a despicable thing to do; I just hope the police catch those responsible.”
Boscombe Salvation Army stalwart Phil Carey said: “Everything earned in our charity shops goes towards helping the poor and needy.
“This was a terrible thing to do; hopefully the courts will make an example of those responsible to act as a deterrent.”
Lesley O’Neil, former chairperson of the Highcliffe Business Association, said: “This is really scary, I’m surprised to hear that a safe containing so much money had been left in the shop.
“There has been a spate of break-ins in the village recently; I had around 15 gold rings stolen just before Christmas and another second-hand shop owner on the high street had four of five diamond rings taken.
After the armed post office raid, traders are understandably concerned about so much crime happening here, in just a matter of months.”