Caught on camera: thieves who broke into Branching Out Charity Shop in Littleport ‘tried on clothes and rummaged through rubbish bins’
- Credit: Archant
A break in at the Branching Out Charity Shop in Littleport has left staff and residents ‘appalled’ and ‘horrified’.
Three men, who police believe to be in their late teens or early 20s, were caught on the shop’s CCTV trying on clothes, rummaging through rubbish bins and flinging items over the gate.
The incident, which happened over the weekend, has left staff and service users “horrified that people could do something like this”.
Simon Garner, store manager, said: “It’s shocking and really quite upsetting for the staff.
“We’re just really surprised and appalled that people would want to steal from a charity that works really hard to help and provide for vulnerable people.
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“Exactly what they thought they would find I don’t know; it’s just horrific.
“Even if they do get caught, I think this incident will have a lasting affect on the face of Littleport.”
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Susan Wiggans, general manager of Branching Out, added: “They went through all the items that were left outside the front of the shop.
“They tried to break into the shop but couldn’t, so they climbed over the gate around the back.
“They stole items in the doorway, broke into both of our sheds – one of which we keep our rag bags in to sell to the rag merchant - and were even going through the rubbish bins!
“They were chucking the clothes over the gate to each other. Things were scattered everywhere.
“From what I have been told, they were putting on layers of clothes – so they could carry out as much as possible.”
The burglary rendered the shop closed on Monday morning – causing the charity to lose half a days worth of takings.
Mrs Wiggans added: “It’s given the staff an awful lot of extra work; they’re very upset, as are the people who we support.
“They’re just horrified that someone could do something like this.
An eyewitness said: “Staff arrived on Monday morning to find the goods left in front of the shop over the weekend rifled, and worse.
“The storage shed at the rear of the shop was broken into and a bike and bags of goods stolen.
“There is surveillance camera footage showing three men climbing over the side gate a few times carrying the stolen goods, and going back over to get more.
“There is even a video of them dressing themselves in some of the clothes in the shop doorway.
A police spokesman said: “We believe there were three white, male offenders in their late teens or early 20s.
“No arrests have been made at this stage.
“Investigations are ongoing and anyone with information is asked to call police on 101, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.”