Charity shop robbed

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Burglars broke into a charity shop on Banbury Road this Monday and stole hundreds of pounds worth of goods.

The Helen and Douglas House vintage shop raises money for a hospice in East Oxford which cares for children and young people facing terminal illness.

The burglars forced open the back door of the shop, taking clothes and jewellery. CCTV footage has shown that at least two people were involved in the break in.

A spokesperson from the shop commented, “[The robbery] was really shocking, and it’s just upsetting that people have come wishing harm, without a thought for the work that we do.” She explained that although no cash was taken the robbers took items that represent potentially £500 of turnover, adding, “It cost us two days trading, which is a lot of money for us.”

David Cryer, the head of retail at Helen and Douglas House, said that the break in “caused a lot of distress for the staff, especially the volunteers, who come in and spend their free time making the shop look nice and generating profits for the charity.”

He added, “It is unlikely that we will be fully compensated for the break-in. In particular, the stock is not insured, as it is donated and therefore unique, and it is not possible to put an exact value on it.”

A spokesperson for the hospice told Cherwell, “We are now asking for support from local people to donate their vintage and retro items, to help us restock the shop, and also for more volunteers to help us keep the shop open for longer hours.”

The hospice costs between £4.5 million and £5 million a year to run, and the spokesperson said that charity shops form a very important part of its income. An employee at Holland and Barratt, a neighbouring shop, raised concerns about safety in the Summertown area. He said that he was worried about shoplifting, and also told Cherwell, “Lots of traders are concerned about the lack of a police presence in the area.”

Trisha Soneji, a charity rep at Regent’s commented, “It’s disgusting that people would steal from a group whose only aim is to help others. Charities rely on goodwill and to abuse that is the lowest of the low.”

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