A callous theft from charity

A HEARTLESS criminal stole from a local children’s hospice last Thursday, depriving the charity of £500 in vital funding.

The devastating theft was of a mint-condition Mulberry bag from the Shooting Star Chase shop in Guildford. It is the second time in less than a year that the charity – which supports a number of Woking youngsters – has been looted by cold-blooded thieves.

SWIPED – the Mulberry bag stolen from the Chase shop

SWIPED – the Mulberry bag stolen from the Chase shop

Generous people give such high-value items to raise precious funds for sick children with life-limiting conditions.

In Thursday’s case the valuable Mulberry bag had been displayed in the far side of the shop window earlier in the week.

The bag, which retails at £895, was available to buy for £400 and the charity was due to receive a total of £500 including Gift Aid once the item was sold.

The bag was last seen at 1.30pm on the day of the theft and noticed missing just 45 minutes later. To add insult to injury, a customer who had looked at the bag earlier that day came back hoping to buy the item.

The incident follows a burglary in December 2014, when callous thieves raided Shooting Star Chase’s storage unit just a few weeks before Christmas, pilfering bikes worth a total of £630.

It costs Shooting Star Chase a massive £9.5 million a year to maintain the current level of care for more than 650 children and their families across Surrey and London, and the charity is reliant on supporters’ generosity to keep the desperately-needed service running.

The missing Mulberry bag’s value of £500 could pay for two visits from a Hospice at Home nurse during an emergency, or five bereaved parent’s groups, facilitated by the charity’s counsellors. Denise Stenning, the Tunsgate shop Manager, said: “It’s hard to believe someone would steal goods from a charity shop, let alone items of such significant value – and from an organisation like Shooting Star Chase that cares for sick children with life-limiting conditions.

“A very kind supporter has taken the decision to help raise precious funds for the charity by donating their Mulberry bag to the shop and we’re simply devastated about what’s happened.

“We only hope the thief has a change of heart and brings it back.”

IF anyone can shed any light on the theft or can help the investigation, contact Surrey Police on 101 quoting reference 45150066753. Or call the independent charity Crimstoppers free and anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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