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Wanstead charity shop resembles ‘bomb site’ after £5k burglary raid

16:34 21 January 2013

The manager of a charity shop which was like a “bomb site” after being raided by burglars said it is in desperate need of help.

The British Heart Foundation, High Street, Wanstead was left with £5,000 worth in damage to the shop and in lost revenue from stolen stock.

It is believed that thieves got in through the back of the shop before destroying shelves, breaking a desk in two and smashing a window.

Jason Cook, 26, shop manager, said: “I opened the front door and the shop was destroyed, there was paperwork everywhere which they had ransacked and filing cabinets were tipped up. It was like a bomb site or a like a tornado had hit it. It was very dramatic.”

The break-in happened on Tuesday, and Jason, together with the volunteers at the shop said they were all stunned that a charity shop could be targeted.

“I was in shock and was upset. It’s the first time we have been broken into,” Jason said. “After the police left we cleared up all the broken bits and took them to the dump.”

The thieves mainly stole new items including jewellery and ornaments totalling about £2,000.

Jason said: “All our jewellery was taken from our new goods range. We are now massively lacking in stock, they’ve taken three months worth of earnings.”

CCTV cameras in the car park behind the shop failed to capture any images of the thieves.

“The volunteers are in disbelief and shock. We are heartbroken but we are determined to not let this get us down and we will bounce back from it,” said Jason.

The manager is now appealing for the community to pull together and support the shop either by donating goods, volunteering or shopping there.

Lou Harbour, area manaager, said: “If each household were willing to spend just half an hour having a clear out and donating to the shop it would make a big difference.”

Redbridge police have been asked to comment.

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