Burglars steal safe from Big C charity shop in Norwich
A charity shop manager has spoken of his shock after burglars broke in and stole a cash-laden safe, less than a week before Christmas.
Burglars targeted the Big C shop in Magdalen Street, Norwich, between 5.30pm on Tuesday and 8am on Wednesday.
Shop manager John Lincoln arrived at the shop after 8am yesterday and found the fire escape door had been kicked open and the safe had been ripped off the wall.
'The safe was bolted to the wall so they must have used a crowbar or something,' he said. 'They have damaged the door and we have replaced it.'
Mr Lincoln, who has worked for the charity for five years, said his initial feeling of shock turned to anger in the afternoon.
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'Nothing like this has ever happened before. There has been a very subdued atmosphere in the shop and the volunteers were very upset.'
He refused to disclose how much cash was in the safe but described it as a 'significant amount of money'.
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'We have been particularly busy in the lead up to Christmas.
'The shop has done better than it had this time last year and when you consider how the retail sector is doing, we are doing well.
'The biggest disappointment is that the Big C is trying to expand its services across Norfolk and Suffolk and this is a setback,' he added.
The charity provides care and support to those in Norfolk and Waveney who are affected by cancer.
It also funds research into beating cancer as well as paying for support and vital life-saving equipment and running Big C's Cancer Support and Information Centre, based at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.
The Magdalen Street shop opened in March 2010 and is supported by 17 volunteers.
But Mr Lincoln said that volunteers were determined to not let the burglary ruin their Christmas.
'We will carry on regardless – we will bounce back and we will have smiling faces by the end of the week.'
Anyone who witnessed the incident or has information concerning it should contact PC Darren Harper from Norwich East Safer Neighbourhood Team, on 101. Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.