Anger as thieves target hospice shops

The Florence Nightingale Hospice Shop in Wendover  -which was broken into and the ATM targeted - pictured are assistant manager Angela Edwards and Phil Moody - head of retail

The Florence Nightingale Hospice Shop in Wendover -which was broken into and the ATM targeted - pictured are assistant manager Angela Edwards and Phil Moody - head of retail

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The Florence Nightingale Hospice is counting the cost of two break-ins in two days at its charity shops.

Burglars smashed through the rear fire door of the hospice charity shop in Wendover on Friday night – then struck again at the Aylesbury store on Saturday night or Sunday.

After forcing entry into the Wendover shop, thieves prised open a panel of the cash machine which is used from Kings Head Parade but gave up trying to access the bank notes and escaped.

Assistant manager Angela Edwards, who found the damage on Saturday morning, is upset that the charity now has to fork out for repair work.

She said: “They’re taking money away from the hospice and to think of all the hard work of the volunteers. It’s affected everybody really.

“There was a big, dark hole at the bottom of the door and it looked like someone had peeled it up like a sardine tin.

“I was worried they were still there and were going to jump out.”

A similar break-in took place at the charity’s shop in Aylesbury High Street soon after.

Burglars bashed through the fire door at the back of the shop but the alarm went off and it was enough to scare them away.

Head of retail for the hospice, Phil Moody, said he was reluctant to claim on insurance because of how it bumps up the premium.

Which means, the charity is facing a bill of £1,000 to mend the two doors.

He is also preparing to spend hundreds of extra pounds to bolster security at the Wendover shop.

Mr Moody said: “The sad thing is that it will cost the hospice money. That’s the money that should be going on patients.

“It was unnerving for Angela to open up the shop and with the ATM there – maybe we need to rethink security.”

Police are investigating both burglaries but anyone with information should call 101.

Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.