Thieves steal cash collected for children with cancer

“HOW low can you get?”: Thieves stole charitable donation jars with cash donations.

Police are investigating a series of break-ins at newsstands in West Bay over the holiday weekend.

There were two break-ins and one attempted break-in during the early hours of Sunday, August 29, followed by further incidents between the night of Monday, August 30, and the morning of Tuesday, August 31.

One of the kiosks targeted on the second occasion was Anchors Aweigh. The kiosk’s shutters had been torn off when the intruders entered through the front.

The Anchors Aweigh team has broken in before making sure they don’t leave valuables in the kiosk overnight, but said they were upset to discover the charity donation jars had been used to raise money for the Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance and a charity supporting children with cancer – was stolen.

Michael Ackerman, manager at Anchors Aweigh, said: “I’ve been here for seven years and this has happened twice so we make sure we don’t leave valuables in the kiosk overnight.

“But as for stealing from charity pots, how low can you get?

“Stealing from the cash register is one thing, but taking money from children with cancer or the trauma helicopter is another story.

“It is seriously crossing a line. These charities are funded by the public, they do a great job and people rely on them. I may have to duck into my own pocket to cover what was in the jars.”

An investigation is currently underway on how many properties have been targeted and what has been taken.

Ankers Aweigh remained closed until Tuesday afternoon as forensic work was underway.

Mr Ackerman added: “Not only did they take the jars and cause damage to the hut, it affected our trading the next morning as we were unable to open.

“Several people came by who wanted breakfast and we had to tell them to go elsewhere while the police conducted their investigation.

“They’re on camera. We have CCTV footage of them, so hopefully they get caught.”

The police are looking for information.

It was reported that cash and electronic items were stolen in the first raid, while cash was stolen, as well as a cell phone and other items in the second incident.

Police Officer Matthew Barrett, of West Dorset Police, said: “We appreciate that these incidents have caused significant inconvenience to local traders and we are conducting a number of investigations to determine who is responsible.

“I would urge anyone who has witnessed suspicious activity in the area over the Bank Holiday weekend, or has information that could assist our investigation, come forward.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk or call 101 quoting Incident Number 55210139482. Alternatively, To remain 100 percent anonymous, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers online at Crimestoppers-uk.org or call toll-free 0800 555 111.

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