Safe raider targets charity shop

Manager Trish Thorp and shop assistant Julie Friend at the Cancer Research UK shop, Chapel Street, Chorley.
Manager Trish Thorp and shop assistant Julie Friend at the Cancer Research UK shop, Chapel Street, Chorley.
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Police are hunting a burglar who broke into a town centre charity shop and made off with its safe and contents.

Staff at the Cancer Research UK shop, 27 Chapel Street, have been left upset by the raid.

But they have vowed not to let it beat them – and have pledged to carry on their dedicated work with even more 

The break-in took place overnight Friday, said police.

The raider climbed onto a single storey, flat roof, smashed a hole in a first floor window and gained entry into the shop.

They removed the safe from a wall and made off the same way they got in.

The combination safe itself is valued at £200. It contained items including more than £500 in cash and jewellery.

Trish Thorp, who has been manager at the shop for the last two years, said: “They’ve taken the safe. There were raffle tickets inside, personal details, some jewellery in there, the shop takings and the float.”

Trish added: “You can’t tell how hard everybody works here. They put so much time and effort in, we’re such a small team as it is.

“One of the guys who opened up the shop was absolutely heartbroken. It’s made them more determined to get more money in.

“On Saturday, they went out in their own time, searching under bushes trees, in bins, looking for the safe.

“We’re very angry because we’re here for a purpose and the purpose is we’re fighting for a cause. It doesn’t just affect our team, it affects our donors as well – they’ll be upset.

“Customers are upset and angry, but you know what, we’re saying, let’s show them we’re not going to let them get to us.”

Trish said nothing like this had happened before during her time as manager, but that here had been other break-ins nearby.

Chorley Police said CCTV had shown a male in the area at 1.15am heading in the direction of Market Street.

He is described as a white, with cropped hair, wearing a vest top, jeans with a shirt tied round his waist. He appeared to be carrying something heavy.

Sergeant Kevin Mountain, of Chorley neighbourhood policing team, said: “This is a particularly despicable crime against a charity shop.”

He urged anyone with information – perhaps being asked to buy Cancer Research UK raffle tickets – to contact Chorley Police on 101.