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'Despicable' thieves target Newent charity shop

By The Citizen  |  Posted: February 27, 2014

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HUNDREDS of pounds in cash and drawers full of jewellery have been stolen from the Great Oaks Dean Forest Hospice Charity Shop in Broad Street, Newent.

The burglary is being linked to a string of other break-ins in the Forest of Dean and the perpetrators have been labelled “low” and “despicable”.

The incident was reported to police on Wednesday at 9.20am, having taken place the night before.

Manager Freda Gurney from the shop said: “They took two days’ worth of takings. It is very low for someone to steal from a charity shop.

“They took the safe and left through the window and they also took jewellery.

“It is the little things that are affecting us, such as going to the safe for bits we need during the day.”

Gillian Bennett posted on Facebook: “Despicable creatures! The volunteers and staff at Great Oaks are a wonderful, supportive group of people who do so much good. Once again we have a crime in Newent and yet our police station has been taken away because there is so little crime.”

However staff at the shop are not letting it get them down.

They are still going ahead with their annual fashion show which will take place on April 29.

Great Oaks Hospice is based near Coleford and has charity shops across the district.

One worker there, who did not want to be named, said: “All of the money raised in our charity shops directly supports the patients who come to the hospice. I just hope that the people who stole this money don’t ever need our help.”

The incident number is 93 of February 26.

Police believe it could be linked to two other incidents in the area.

In a separate incident offenders smashed the door of Costcutter, in the same Newent street, on February 20. Staff reported it to police at 3.40am. The offenders took off with cigarette packets.

In another incident, a break-in also occurred at a cricket club in Cinderford which police believe happened between February 23 and 24. The offenders left with alcohol.

District councillor Len Lawton, (C, Newent Central), said: “They need better deterrents for criminals. Stealing from a charity shop is heavily below the belt. It is just scum.”

Anyone with information should contact the police on 101.

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