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‘Despicable’ thieves steal children’s charity boxes during break-in at Norwich opticians

PUBLISHED: 14:47 17 December 2017 | UPDATED: 08:17 18 December 2017

Thieves have broken into Coleman Opticians in Norwich and stolen collection tins filled with donations for Break. Photo: Coleman Opticians

Thieves have broken into Coleman Opticians in Norwich and stolen collection tins filled with donations for Break. Photo: Coleman Opticians

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Thieves broke into a Norwich opticians over the weekend and stole money collected for a children’s charity.

Thieves have broken into Coleman Opticians in Norwich and stolen collection tins filled with donations for Break. Photo: Coleman OpticiansThieves have broken into Coleman Opticians in Norwich and stolen collection tins filled with donations for Break. Photo: Coleman Opticians

Thieves broke into a Norwich opticians over the weekend and stole money collected for a children’s charity.

Coleman Opticians Hearing and Vision Centre on St Augustines Street were alerted to a break-in at their business on Saturday morning (December 16).

The main door of the building had been smashed open, computers were thrown to the floor, various pairs of glasses were broken and their charity collection tins were stolen.

Coleman Opticians had been collecting money for Break, an organisation that supports vulnerable children, young people and families across East Anglia.

The company had opted to fundraise for the charity because of their great work as well as their involvement with the GoGoDragons in 2015 and the GoGoHares.

Following the break-in, the company shared the news on Facebook, informing customers that everyone was safe and well. The post has been received with strong support from the local community.

Christine Walpole commented: “Despicable people who have done this, but glad everyone is ok.”

Nicola Lambert-John added: “Oh my goodness this is awful. I am glad no one is hurt but not something you should have to deal with.”

Radley and Kate Fenn, owners of Coleman Opticians, said: “We are overwhelmed with the number of shares and comments to the Facebook post.

“Thanks to everyone for their concern about the property and staff, we would like to reassure everyone that it is business as usual and things like this are not going to beat us, but the thought that the charity money which we work hard to raise has been taken is a very low blow.”

Following the incident, an online fundraising page was set up with the hope that the team could attempt to get the money back for the charity.

A spokesman for Break called the fundraising page a “wonderful gesture” and thanked everyone for their kind comments.

They said: “So sorry to see this Radley and team. Anything we can do to help, please let us know. Glad everyone is ok, that is much more important.”

Melissa Smith, an employee at the opticians, confirmed that the damage to the door has now been fixed and the mess cleaned up.

■ To donate to the cause, visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ColemanOpticiansCollection

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