A CALLOUS thief stole a charity collection for Scottish Women’s Aid from a book store.
Staff at Looking Glass Books in Simpson Loan, near George Square, were left “sickened” after the theft.
The thief is understood to have made off with about £200 from the charity tub, which had been donated by customers.
The independent book shop had raised the cash by wrapping books and other gifts in return for a small donation after reading about the charity drive backed by the Evening News.
Shop owner, Gillian Robertson, said it was heartbreaking to think vulnerable children would miss out as a result.
She said: “I was sickened when I first saw it had happened. We’ve had things stolen from the shop before – like anywhere else – by shoplifters. But to steal something that is meant for children living in refuges makes it even more sad.
“Last year we did free wrapping in December and it was really popular so we started collecting for it.
“I chose this charity after reading about it in the Evening News. It really struck a chord and what they were asking for seemed achievable. It seemed something that was very worthwhile and this collection could help.
“You don’t know what circumstances might have driven anyone to do this but it’s hard to think of children missing out.”
Gillian had counted the money, which she had earlier swapped to notes to make it lighter, on Friday. She was planning to take £500 to the charity after the weekend. But on Monday, when she went to bag up the cash, she was horrified to discover all the £20 notes were missing.
She said: “It’s so frustrating, I don’t know how it has happened. It was kept in a locked office so I don’t know if someone’s forgotten to lock the door, or it’s not locked properly, and over the weekend and someone has got in. It’s really disappointing but the response has already been brilliant from people tweeting about it or coming in the shop. Customers have already been so generous, hopefully we’ll be able to claw it back to what it was.”
Police are investigating the theft and store bosses are now set to have CCTV installed at their premises. In a string of tweets from the Twitter account of Looking Glass Books, staff spoke of the “nasty” theft and said it had been a “horrible day”.
One tweet read: “We still have a fair bit but we lost a lot today. It’s just horrible.”
Another message read: “Just a bit sickened . . . people have been so generous giving too.”
How you can help
FORTY years ago Edinburgh Women’s Aid was launched to help women and their children experiencing domestic abuse leave their homes and get help and support. Still today one in four women will experience some form of domestic abuse. To help EWA help them please donate this Christmas – as little as £5 can be put to good use.
Cheques should be sent to EWA, 4 Cheyne Street, Edinburgh, EH4 1JB or donate online at www.justgiving.com/edinburghwomensaid/donate
What can your donations do?
£5 provides duvet covers for a woman or child/young person
£10 provides a duvet for a woman or child/young person
£50 gives children/young people an outing to the cinema/ten-pin bowling/zoo
£1000 gives 12 weeks (5 hours per week) awareness raising/prevention work in schools
£15 covers fuel/lighting costs for a week’s refuge space
£20 provides 45 minutes of one-to-one support for a woman or child/young person
£25 provides 60 minutes of one-to-one support in the community
£25,000 provides an additional advocacy worker for 35 hours per week
£100 buys new locks to keep someone safe in their home
£15,000 provides an additional support worker to women or children and young people for one year (21 hours per week)
£5000 funds a parenting course to increase parenting skills and build for the future
£2500 enables a lifestyle management course to build confidence and self-esteem