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Charity shop thieves 'stealing from themselves'

PUBLISHED: 13:18 23 August 2019 | UPDATED: 13:18 23 August 2019

Emma Brock (from left), Rachel Knight and Jason Gant outside the community shop, which is being targeted by thieves  Picture: Chris Bishop

Emma Brock (from left), Rachel Knight and Jason Gant outside the community shop, which is being targeted by thieves Picture: Chris Bishop

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A charity shop boss says those shoplifting from her store are stealing from their own community.

The Fairstead Community Shop, in King's Lynn   Picture: Chris BishopThe Fairstead Community Shop, in King's Lynn Picture: Chris Bishop

Emma Brock from the Fairstead Community Shop has seen at least an item of clothing stolen per day and says thieves have been targetting the shop in a variety of different ways.

They include adults allowing their children to pick up toys and games and simply walk out with them, with one incident seeing £15 worth of toys stolen.

Other incidents include Mrs Brock catching people on CCTV rifling donation bags left outside the shop and changing the price tags for those with a lower price.

She has had to urge donors not to put sharp knives in the top of donation bags because of the thefts and her concerns about knife crime.

Due to the high volume of items stolen Mrs Brock is unable to put a number on exactly how much the thefts have cost the store, and she adds that it has reached a stage where staff don't know which exact items have gone missing.

Mrs Brock said: "Me and the staff don't earn a wage and when people do this it's just a kick in the teeth."

Despite the introduction of a CCTV camera at the front of the shop, Mrs Brock says she can't monitor it all day due to other duties in the shop, there are also many parts of the store which are not covered by the camera.

Mrs Brock set up the store in order to help the local community and added that the items were as cheap as they could possibly be as they were in a "deprived area".

She said: "It gets to me because I opened this shop to try and help people and it feels like they are stealing from themselves, because they don't know when they're going to need us."

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