Weston Hospicecare’s shop in Clevedon Triangle has been targeted overnight by burglars – little more than two weeks after the charity’s store in Weston’s Milton Road was broken into.
Raiders struck sometime after the shop closed yesterday (Monday) and before it was due to reopen at 9.30am this morning.
The intruders forced a lock on the back door, before using a fire extinguisher to smash open a locked interior door in search of money.
The thieves were out of luck, though; tills are emptied and cash banked every night, meaning they would have escaped with a maximum of £50 which is kept on the premises as a float.
However, the break-in will mean money which was earmarked for patient care at the hospice’s Jackson-Barstow House base in Uphill will have to be diverted to pay for repairs to the broken doors.
Weston Hospicecare’s retail director Gemma Turner said: “We are once again angry and frustrated to find that one of the hospice’s vital shops has fallen victim to such a thoughtless crime.
“An incident like this will have an impact on the staff and volunteers who are upset to see their shop targeted in this way, but the wider impact will be also felt by the shop’s customers and the Clevedon community, as well as the hospice itself.
“Indeed, it is our patients who will lose out, as money raised by our shops goes towards their care – now funding will have to be found for repairs instead.
“I would, however, like to say a big thank you to Helen and the team at Clevedon Triangle for managing to open as normal today despite this incident, and to our customers in Clevedon for their kind words and support.
“It is the support of the community which makes our shops such an essential and successful part of the hospice’s fundraising operation, which enables us to continue helping people with life-limiting illnesses when they need us most.”
The blow comes just 12 days after the hospice’s Milton Road fell victim to a similar crime.
On that occasion, thieves are thought to have tampered with a fire exit while posing as customers in the daytime, before returning at night to force the compromised door.
They then ransacked a staff area and smashed a window and escaping with a similarly small amount of cash.
Police are investigating both incidents.