Burglars raid charity shop and steal money from safe

Aftermath of the break-in
Aftermath of the break-in

A charity shop in Knottingley was ransacked by thieves who stole a van and took cash that would have been used to help people with serious illnesses.

Sue Ryder on Hill Top was targeted overnight on Thursday when burglars damaged the inside of the shop and stole the day's takings from the safe.

The charity estimated that the funds lost due to the theft and lost trading time could have paid for 10 visits from a Sue Ryder nurse.

The shop was closed on Friday while investigations took place and volunteers are appealing to the public for donations to help replenish lost funds.

Shop manager Michelle Cheetham said: “Breaking into a shop is one thing, and another when it’s one that for more than 20 years has supported a charity’s care for people facing a terminal illness, a complex neurological condition or the loss of a loved one.

“We’re lucky to be covered by insurance, and the van has since been returned to us, but it’s the principle, and that van will be off the road until the forensic investigation has finished.

“What’s not covered by our insurance policy though is our loss of earnings – both the money stolen from our safe and the money we would have made today from a normal day’s trade.

"That’s money that could have paid for 10 visits from a Sue Ryder community nurse.

"We’ve had a heart-warming response from the public so far today and would like to thank everyone for their support."

For more information on making a donation and volunteering, ring 01977 672 411 or email knottingley6141@suerydercare.org.

The break-in took place between 5pm on Thursday, February 14 and 8.20am on Friday, January 15.

A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said: "Police were called at about 11.17am on Friday to a report of a burglary at a charity shop on Hill Top, Knottingley.

"The incident took place between 5pm on Thursday February 14 and 8.20am on Friday, and saw thieves break in and steal computer equipment and a van, which was later recovered.

"Anyone who saw or has information about the break-in is asked to contact Wakefield District Police on 101 referencing police crime number 13190084074.

"Information can also be given anonymously to the independent Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111."