A charity shop which has been open for little more than two weeks was raided by thieves on Friday night.

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The theft from the Norfolk Hospice, Tapping House shop was the second charity shop raid in Swaffham in under a week.

Glenda Langmead, director of finance and retail operations at the Snettisham-based charity, said a “significant” amount of cash was taken by the thieves.

She added: “It’s terribly sad when so many people in the local community need our services and then something like this happens.

“It is also really upsetting because the shop has only been open for a couple of weeks.”

Shop manager Cymon Humphries discovered the break-in when he opened the shop on Saturday morning and confirmed cash is no longer being kept on the premises overnight.

He added: “Before the break-in, I thought we had a good start because the shop was doing really well but people who do things like this don’t care about who we are or who we help.”

A Norfolk Police spokesman said the offenders broke into the charity shop by forcing open a door before stealing a cash box.

The Norfolk Hospice, Tapping House is currently gearing up to move operations from its current day centre in Snettisham to a new £4m full-service hospice in Hillington, near King’s Lynn, next year.

But yearly running costs will rise from £1.4m to £3.4m once the new hospice is operational and it is hoped this charity shop - along with others around the county - will further boost funds to help run the hospice.

The new hospice, along with the charity’s Hospice at Home team, will help the charity give a more complete service to more people in West Norfolk, North Norfolk and parts of Cambridgeshire.

The theft at the Tapping House shop came after the Break store, also on the Market Place, was targeted between 4.45pm on Saturday, November 3, after the shop closed and 8.30am on Monday, November 5, when it reopened.

Jewellery and money from the Break donation tin was also stolen after the thieves broke in through a first floor fire escape door at the back and smashed a window.

Any witnesses or anyone with information to either break-in should call the Swaffham Safer Neighbourhood Team on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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