A GOOD Samaritan has begun raising money for a cancer charity shop that had almost £550 stolen from it in an incident police described as “beyond belief”.
Frank Jones, 43, of Marine Parade, Worthing, has raised £200 for the Marie Curie Cancer Centre in Montague Street.
Burglars entered the charity shop between 4pm last Sunday and 8.55am last Monday, stealing £546.46 from a locked cabinet.
Mr Jones said: “I don’t understand how people can steal from somewhere like this. It happens all the time and it’s disgusting.
“This isn’t just about raising money, it’s about getting the word out that this can’t go on.”
The father-of-two has been visiting shops in Worthing asking for donations, the response to which has been positive.
“Everyone has said they are going to help out as much as possible – something good should come of it all,” he said.
“The project is close to me because my dad suffered from cancer three times.
“When someone close to you suffers like that, something like this really hits home.”
The £200 raised by Mr Jones came from his employer, Arrow Taxi company.
Brenda Justice, assistant manager of the charity shop, said she was ‘really chuffed’ with the donation.
Speaking about the incident itself, she added: “I am absolutely devastated that some low life has stolen from us, it’s just disgusting.
“They’re the lowest of the low, I can’t believe people could do such a thing.”
The robbery follows a number of similar incidents in the area, including the theft of a donations box from Chestnut Tree House, in Montague Street, in December.
The Lighthouse Café and Bar, in Warwick Street, was broken into in January, with thieves swiping charity boxes in the process.
A laptop and £250 cash was also stolen.
Lesley Sprink-Gomm, the Marie Curie shop manager, said: “These people are not taking money from us who work here, they are taking it from the nurses helping cancer patients.
“They steal from charity shops because they think we are soft, that we won’t do anything about it, but we will stand up for ourselves.”
The manager also had suspicions that the shop was singled out by the thieves: “The window they broke in through would not have been easy to see without having spent time looking at it from the car park opposite,” she said.
“It seems like a targeted attack.”
Other charities in the area also expressed concerns over being targeted by thieves.
Julie Thompson, manager of Guild Care in Montague Street, said: “When something like this happens it puts everyone slightly on edge.
“It baffles me that people steal from charity but it happens every day. They will break down the doors, the gates, they do anything and we have to put up with it.”
Police are now appealing for witnesses to come forward to help find the culprits.
PC David Slade said: “This incident is beyond belief in that someone can break into a cancer charity shop and steal the weekend takings.”
Witnesses, or anyone with any information in connection to the theft, can contact police by calling 101 and quoting serial 0278 of 02/02.