Search

Charity donations being stolen from outside shops across Redbridge

08:05 16 May 2013

A man looking through a bag of donations left outside the British Heart Foundation shop in Cranbrook Road, Ilford.

A man looking through a bag of donations left outside the British Heart Foundation shop in Cranbrook Road, Ilford.

Archant

Callous thieves are taking donations from outside charity shops across Redbridge.

Bags of clothes, toys and bric-a-brac left by well-wishers overnight are targeted and volunteers have also reported stealing inside the shops and burglaries.

One man wearing a Big Issue seller’s uniform was seen examining clothes left outside the British Heart Foundation shop, in Cranbrook Road, Ilford, last week.

Steve Fraine, who took a photo, said he had seen a woman take a donation bag from the same spot just days before.

He added: “It happens all the time in Ilford – it shows how bad things are getting when people are stealing from charity shops.

“You can’t say anything in case you get your head knocked off.”

The PDSA shop in High Street, Barkingside, displays a sign on the door warning people not to leave items outside.

Volunteer Kathleen Gale said it is hard to trace what has been stolen because they only receive what is left in the morning.

She added: “It’s really widespread – it happens at all the charity shops and unfortunately there’s a lot of stealing from inside as well.

“We have noticed shoplifting is happening more in the last year. I don’t know whether people think that because it’s a charity shop you have the green light to help yourself.

“It makes you feel very vulnerable.”

The shop, in High Street, has also been targeted twice by burglars in recent months.

In February, thieves broke in through the back door and got away with the safe, and last month a Henry hoover was taken in another raid.

The PDSA is “desperate” for donations following the theft and a fire in the Cranbrook Road, Ilford, branch earlier this year.

The manager of the Sue Ryder Care shop, in The Broadway, Woodford Green, said bags left outside overnight are regularly plundered, leaving clothes strewn all over the pavement and people have been seen breaking into padlocked rubbish bins behind the building.

She added: “I think with the climate how it is out there it’s harder and there’s more stealing.

“People are looking for anything now.”

Sharon Robinson, manager of the Cancer Research UK shop in George Lane, South Woodford, said the problem has been going on for years.

She added: “One woman left four or five bags outside at 7am and by the time I got in at 9am they were gone.

“The worst is when they go through the bags and leave the mess for us to clear up.

“They’re just looking for anything they can sell – there are even people who go through the rubbish.”

Sharon believes some thieves look for electrical goods they can strip down for scrap metal.

Stuart Beaney, manager of The Children’s Society, in George Lane, South Woodford, said he blames people who leave the donations outside “almost as much as” the thieves.

He added: “Some people steal for boot fairs or for their own personal greed but the root of the whole problem is people leaving donations outside. If they really want us to have it, they should wait until we are open.”

Latest News Stories

13 minutes ago
The Mayor Cllr Ashley Kissin turning on the Christmas lights Manford Way in Chigwell

All nationalities turned out in force for a community association’s annual Christmas event - surpassing last year’s attendance.

13:03
L-R Gayle Klein, Daniel Lassman and Eve Pollard

The so-called “First lady of Fleet Street” attended a glitzy lunch to raise funds for a care charity.

The home made preserves stall at the Christmas market

The cake stalls and home-made preserves caught the imagination of those who attended one of the season’s first Christmas markets.

She will appear later today

A 19-year-old woman will appear in court today for the abduction of two girls.

Most read news

The new legislation is being backed up by an anti-terrorism awareness drive by police forces nationwide.

More than 170,000 tweets have been posted in the last three days using the hashtag #CameronMustGo.

Computer firm Symantec discover malware so sophisticated, they say it suggests government involvement.

The tragic police shooting of a boy in Cleveland prompts state legislators in Ohio to consider new laws for replica guns.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Ilford Recorder e-edition today E-edition