Vandals strike at Wisbech charity shop
Staff at a Wisbech charity shop were left picking up the pieces yet again when mindless vandals struck.
The window of the British Heart Foundation shop was smashed on Friday evening – just hours after a burglar who ransacked the Market Place shop in January was handed a suspended jail sentence.
The shop’s assistant manager Sue Small said although nothing was stolen during the most recent attack, it still cost around £1,400 in damages.
“I’m not sure why we keep getting targeted,” she said. “It’s so frustrating as we’re a charity shop and just don’t expect it.”
Igors Solins, 25, appeared at King’s Lynn Magistrates’ Court for sentence on Friday, having admitted breaking into the BHF shop, and also the Norfolk Hospice shop in Wisbech, on January 6.
The court heard he had been living in a dilapidated building being used as a shelter for the homeless, with no running water or electricity, after being made redundant.
Solins and an accomplice, who is still wanted by police, decided to break into the BHF shop to steal clothes – and also used the electricity there to plug in an electric razor and have haircuts.
Hair was found on the kitchen floor of the BHF shop and CCTV footage showed Solins with a full head of hair before the break-ins and with less hair afterwards.
Solins was given a 16-week prison sentence, suspended for two years. He was also ordered to do 200 hours unpaid community work and pay each charity £100 compensation. He must also pay a £80 victim surcharge.
Mrs Small said she discovered the latest damage when she turned up to open the shop on Saturday morning.
She had to spend around an hour clearing up the mess, and was able to open at 10.30am.
The culprit had attempted to throw a brick through the shop’s side window on several occasions, with seven different impact points.
Although the brick didn’t manage to smash through the window, shards of glass splintered all over the shop’s window display and rails of clothes beneath.
Mrs Small said: “We had to get rid of a lot of stock as we couldn’t risk anyone being hurt by a piece of glass.
“We had to throw out around 100 dresses and 120 fashion tops, which we estimated to be worth around £1,200 to £1,400.”
The window has now been boarded up, and the shop is awaiting it to be repaired through insurance.
Mrs Small said the shop had been targeted on many occasions in the past, either by would-be burglars or drunken vandals.
She said: “It’s so frustrating as at the end of the day, it means a lot of hard work from people is wasted.
“There’s the people who bring in the donations, and the volunteers who prep it ready for the shop floor with ironing, hanging, steaming and tagging.”
A police spokesman said a 31-year-old man was arrested at the scene of the incident and later cautioned.