Thief steals £1200 cancer charity cash

Iain Ritchie, centre, with fellow fundraisers Liam McMillan and Lucy Drennan. Picture: comp
Iain Ritchie, centre, with fellow fundraisers Liam McMillan and Lucy Drennan. Picture: comp
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A BAR worker has spoken of his disgust after a thief broke into his flat, kicked over his Christmas tree and stole £1200 he had raised for a cancer charity.

Iain Ritchie had collected sponsor money for Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres by running up and down Arthur’s Seat 24 times in a day and organising a ceilidh night.

The 36-year-old needed to hit fundraising targets to take part in a 12-day trek to Mount Everest to raise yet more cash. But the heartless robber sneaked through a window at his home in Clarence Street, Stockbridge and made off with the proceeds, which were lying on his living room table.

Charity bosses said they were “shocked” to learn of the raid, which took place between 11.30am and 9.30pm on Monday, while police appealed for any witnesses to come forward.

Mr Ritchie said: “Myself and my girlfriend had been out for the day. When we got home we noticed the living room window was open to its widest point and our Christmas tree had been kicked aside. We looked round to see if anything was missing and found the Maggie’s cash I had bagged up and a roll of notes were gone. I was supposed to be depositing it in the bank on Tuesday. Nothing else was taken despite there being a laptop and bank cards. The police said it was 
probably an opportunist.”

Mr Ritchie, an assistant bar manager, lives with his 
girlfriend, Gillian Taylor, 26, a restaurant worker. He had set himself the target of raising £3850 for the charity, with a trek up 17,500ft to the base camp at Mount Everest in March planned to put him over the top.

He said: “The £1200 was to help reach my target to go on the trek. Family and friends have said they will help out and I’m still hoping to go but I’m in a daze. It’s the fact that it was charity money that was stolen that I’m finding really difficult to deal with. I think the person who took it is disgusting.”

Michael Parkes, Maggie’s events co-ordinator, said: “Everyone at Maggie’s is shocked to hear the news of Iain’s burglary and the loss of funds he has raised towards his Everest expedition. Undertaking this kind of challenge is difficult enough at the best of times without this kind of setback.

“We would like to thank Iain for all his efforts and showing his greatly appreciated support for Maggie’s.”

Forensic specialists examined the flat and found footprints believed to belong to the robber. Detective Inspector John Kavanagh said: “Police in Edinburgh are investigating a break-in to a house on Clarence Street. Inquiries are ongoing.”