THIEVES broke into a cancer charity shop and made off with a safe containing £2000 in a “vile” overnight raid.
Staff and volunteers from the Cancer Research UK store in Corstorphine were devastated to find the back door to the property had been kicked in and the safe containing the cash had been stolen.
The discovery was made last Wednesday morning when staff turned up to open the pound store in Corstorphine Retail Park, Gylemuir Road.
Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward and are interested in hearing from people who noticed anyone suspicious in the area.
Store manager Joe Orrock said he found police officers already at the shop when he arrived to open it on Wednesday morning.
“It was terrible to see all the mess that the thieves left,” he said.
“This is a tremendous shock for all the staff and volunteers who work so hard to help raise vital cash to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.”
Mr Orrock added the attack had not dampened the staff’s spirits and they were already back up and running.
The break-in happened some time between 6.30pm on Tuesday, September 16, and 7am the following morning.
Ruth Williamson, who works in the neighbouring Pets at Home store, made the initial call to the police at around 7am.
“I came into work and noticed that the door was ajar and there was a rock against it so I crept up to the door and peered through and there was no lights on so I came into our store and phoned the police,” she said.
“It was all in darkness but I could see that the door had been forced because it was damaged.
“We are very close to Joe so he came in and thanked me but I was sickened that that had happened because at the end of the day, it’s a charity shop and it does good work.”
The community has also been left shocked by the incident, which residents say is part of a surge in break-ins in the area.
Secretary of Corstorphine Community Council, Ken Swinney, said he was surprised to hear the news but was aware there had been an increase in break-ins throughout the community.
“We had a meeting where the police were in attendance and he made comment there has been an increase in break-ins with many houses and garden sheds,” he said.
“We would not expect it to happen because it’s Cancer Research so everything’s given in to be sold to help the problem. It’s a shame.”
Liberal Democrat councillor for Corstorphine, Paul Edie, also called condemned the thieves. “What kind of person robs a charity shop? There’s a certain vileness about it and if anyone has any evidence they need to bring it forward.”
Lisa Adams, spokeswoman for Cancer Research UK in Scotland, said: “It’s upsetting for both staff and volunteers who work extremely hard to raise money for us and for our supporters who donate and shop at the store.
“Cancer Research UK relies entirely on donations to fund its life-saving research into over 200 cancers so we take these rare instances of theft extremely seriously.”
A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “A four-figure sum of cash was taken, and police are keen to hear from anyone who noticed anyone suspicious in the area on Tuesday night.”