Thieves target charity shop

A MANAGER of a charity shop has revealed there is “nothing” he can do to stop people stealing items left outside the front of the shop.

The Barnardo’s shop in Angel Pavement, Royston, was the target for a thief at the weekend, when a passer-by witnessed a man take two large bags that had been donated.

Now, Stephen Charlesworth, manager of the branch, has admitted that there is little that can be done.

“There’s nothing that we can do unfortunately, because it’s not officially our stock until it gets through the front door.

“Its something that we are aware that happens regularly and that we very much don’t like.”

Mr Charlesworth warned future donators not to leave items outside the front of the shop as it is too much of a risk.

“We do get told that people go through the bags and we’d encourage people not to leave them outside.

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“We don’t know if other people go through them either. And another thing is that they are a trip hazard for pedestrians.”

A Royston resident, who did not want to be named, witnessed a man take two bags from outside the shop on Sunday evening at around 6pm.

He said: “I wonder what the kind person who left two large bags outside the shop thought would happen to them.

“Perhaps they had visions of them ending up with the poor Pakistani victims who lost all of their possessions in the recent floods, or perhaps, go to the victims of other disasters.”

“Despicable as it may seem to anyone with even a modicum of decency, a man of about thirty, with close cropped hair, scruffily dressed and carrying a backpack over his shoulder, walked over to the bags, picked them up and walked down to, and into, George Lane.”

“It was obvious to me that the man had gone to the charity shop specifically to collect any bags that had been donated, and maybe even to all the charity shops in the town to carry out this revolting act.”

The witness revealed that although he witnessed the incident, he was in no state to stop him.

“I was racing back because I needed to go to the toilet. If I wasn’t dangerously close to wetting myself I would have tackled him.”