Crooks’ raid is a blessing in disguise for stunned charity

Claire Wilson, Lina Ortiz and Michelle Giles with the items generously donated by members of the public SUS-150806-135259001
Claire Wilson, Lina Ortiz and Michelle Giles with the items generously donated by members of the public SUS-150806-135259001

CALLOUS crooks who pilfered from a Worthing charity failed miserably to wreck its latest fundraising drive.

Last week, thieves stole a range of items meant for Guild Care’s latest charity sale on Thursday afternoon (June 4).

The event was raising cash to pay for summer outings for Guild Care’s Growing Old with Learning Difficulties (GOLD) group.

Distraught organisers took to social media in a bid to try recoup their losses and were stunned by the response.

Polly Bishop, Guild Care’s media officer, said: “We’re so overwhelmed by how many people have rallied round to save the day for our GOLD group.

“We were devastated after the items were taken, but at the worst of times, it’s amazing what people can achieve when they get together.

“Thank you to everyone for being so generous.”

Remarkably, the raid proved a blessing in disguise with more people than ever donating raffle gifts.

Everything from cakes and soft toys, to wines, DVDs and beauty products were handed over to shocked organisers.

Speaking on Facebook the charity said: “People have flooded to the Guild Care centre to make donations, and we now have more items for our raffle and stalls than we could have possibly imagined.”

The crime came as police issued a warning to residents about securing their homes to prevent summer burglaries.

Over the next couple of weeks officers across the county are stepping up activities to track down wanted offenders.

It also saw police linking up with neighbourhood watch volunteers as part of a week-long awareness campaign.

Detective chief inspector Tanya Jones said residents should become ‘more security conscious’.

“You can have appropriate security in place on your home but leaving a window or door unlocked and valuables on show can potentially create the perfect opportunity for a thief,” she said.

“A burglar can be in and out of your home in a matter of minutes. Sometimes it may not be a question of changing the security you have but changing your routine to be more vigilant in ensuring your home is secure.”

During the same two weeks last year there were 160 burglaries across Sussex – 61 of which were in West Sussex.

This summer, checklists are being handed out with tips on frustrating burglars.

People are also being encouraged to register their valuables for free at www.immobilise.com so that if they are stolen officers can more easily reunite them with their owners.