Burglars break in to Yate charity shop to steal donated cash
BURGLARS broke in to a Yate charity shop and smashed a globe used to collect donations.
Staff and volunteers at the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity shop in North Walk say they have been left shocked and disappointed by the theft of money given to support medics providing critical emergency care across the region.
Shop manager Marwa Bahssali said up to £100 in cash had been taken in the burglary, which she discovered when she opened up the shop on Tuesday, after the bank holiday weekend.
She said: "Someone had gained entrance through the front door and then located our huge collection globe towards the back of the shop.
"They smashed it open and managed to grab most of the banknotes, before making off."
No high-value items were taken, and the shop's tills were empty.
The charity believes the thief may have visited the shop before, as the globe (above) could not be seen from outside.
It was the only one of its kind owned by GWAAC and staff had "quite a sentimental attachment" to it. It will cost up to £200 to replace.
Marwa said: “People have had the kindness to donate money that they would have worked hard for, to help save the lives of people in Yate and beyond.
"It’s the sadness that someone has made so much effort to break into our wonderful shop and take that cash for themselves that disappoints us so much.”
GWAAC provides emergency specialist critical care at the scene of the accident or medical incident. Although it is part of the regional 999 response service, it is funded entirely by charitable donations.
The Yate shop (above) opened in August last year and GWAAC says it recently had its best week ever in terms of takings, which usually an average of over £400 a day.
Marwa said: “Something like this is heart-breaking for our wonderful team of staff and volunteers, who work tirelessly and donate so much time to running our charity shops.
"But we’re determined not to let this affect us. We are of course tightening our security, but we are open for business, and we’d like to thank everyone in the community for their continued support.
"I am asking anyone who knows anything about this incident to make contact with us, or please contact the police.”
Police have been informed of the incident and Yate Shopping Centre staff are looking through CCTV footage to establish when the break-in happened.
To find out more about GWAAC’s charity shops, visit GWAAC’s website.