Burglars crack safe at Honiton store

Shop workers devastated by ‘hurtful and unbelievable crime’. Can you help detectives and name the culprits?

STAFF at a Honiton charity shop have been left devastated by, what they describe as, “a hurtful and unbelievable crime” - after the shop was targeted by thieves for the second time in two weeks.

Thieves smashed their way into Cancer Research UK’s Lace Walk store last week, making off with money from the day’s takings and floats locked in a safe.

It is thought the break-in occurred some time after the door was locked at 5pm on Monday, March 28.

Assistant manager Jo Whitehead returned to the store on Tuesday morning to find the safe ripped from the wall and left in pieces after thieves forced it open.

“It is just heartbreaking for someone to do that to a charity that helps people with cancer - it doesn’t get more serious than that,” she said.

“They probably know someone who has had, or has got, cancer and they have still gone ahead and done this.”

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The thieves used a crowbar to gain entry to the charity shop, ripping the bolt locks on the door, as well as the security grill, which now required extensive repair work to be carried out.

The total cost, including the money stolen and repair work to the doors, has yet to be calculated.

Store manager Linda Stevens said: “It is unbelievable. It is the lowest of the low to steal from any charity shop, especially when donations of all kinds are given in memory of family and friends who have been touched in some way or unfortunate to be stricken by this deadly disease, cancer.

“Our supporters give so generously with deep affection and with such devotion, honesty and sincerity for our cause and much-needed research into cancer and the breakthroughs we have achieved in our research and Cancer Research UK’s fight against cancer.

“Yet, to have this awful, unbelievable crime happen to us is so hurtful.”

Thieves attempted to break into the shop last week but were unsuccessful.

Linda added: “They caused a great deal of damage and even broke into lockers and donation collection boxes.

“Also stolen were items of clothing and, especially, quality clothing from one of the male mannequins.”

The thieves made off with a black Slazenger jacket with gold hemming on it.

The charity shop was forced to close for the day last Tuesday - usually its busiest trading day of the week - to allow for repair work to be carried out on the back door.