December 11 2013 Latest news:
Monday, October 21, 2013
Hundreds of pounds have been stolen from a Norwich charity shop that raises money for animals in need.
The PACT Animal Sanctuary Shop in Anglia Square was broken into overnight on Saturday, with collection tins and the till ransacked, and an estimated £500 to £700 stolen from the charity.
Fiona Hilliam, manager of the PACT Animal Sanctuary shop in Anglia Square, was devastated to discover the break-in when she went into the shop on Sunday morning at about 10.15am.
She said it had looked like the burglar or burglars were “just hunting for money.”
“When I came in I thought, ‘my desk did not look like that yesterday,’ and then I realised there were donation boxes and money on the floor. I went back through to the main shop and saw the till had been ransacked.”
She said as well as the float of about £140 being taken from the till, money was taken from three charity collection boxes which she said had been full of donations and could have each had about £200 in them.
She said a bag of collection money and two antique pictures were also taken.
In total, Mrs Hilliam said she estimated that perhaps between about £500 and £700 had been stolen.
Mrs Hilliam said the burglar or burglars had broken the fire door to get into the building, and that the charity was now going to have to foot the bill for a replacement door as well.
“It is just heartbreaking because so many people have donated the money,” she said.
“It is heartbreaking because people work really hard for PACT and the money is to help the animals.
“It is really upsetting. I cannot believe people would do something like this. I am just completely shocked.
“We have really fantastic volunteers who work really hard for no money to help PACT, and then this happens. It is soul destroying.”
She said the shop had also been targeted in June this year.
PACT Animal Sanctuary is based at River Farm, in Woodrising, and was registered as a charity in 1995. It rescues, rehabilitates and where possible re-homes neglected, injured and abandoned animals.
PACT has rehomed or released more than 5,000 animals over the years and currently looks after more than 600 animals.
The animals the sanctuary helps include cats, dogs, rabbits, hamsters, pigs, sheep and horses.
A Norfolk police spokesman confirmed that officers were investigating the break-in at the charity’s Anglia Square shop.