ROBBERS who ransacked a charity shop in search of cash have been labelled “the lowest of the low”.
Staff at the Capability Scotland shop in Deanhaugh Street arrived to find that the front door of the store had been forced in and the interior trashed by the desperate thieves.
However, the heartless crooks were forced to flee empty-handed as no cash is left in the Stockbridge premises overnight.
Instead, the disability organisation has been left to foot a £700 bill for repairs.
It is the latest blow for the store, which was targeted by a serial thief four times in a year in 2009.
Nora Williams, Capability Scotland operations manager for central Scotland, said: “I know things are bad for everyone at the moment, but to steal from a charity shop really is the lowest of the low.
“The locks on both doors into the shop have been wrecked and a pane of glass has been smashed, too.
“Once inside, the thieves then trashed the manager’s office and behind the counter in search of cash. Fortunately, we leave no money on the premises.
“It all adds up to an extra cost that we really don’t need at the moment.”
The charity’s retail commercial manager, Sophie Wilbraham, said she had been left devastated by the raid.
She said: “The shop has suffered considerable damage and was forced to remain closed for the day, which all adds up to a loss in earnings.
“Incidents like this are very disheartening and the last thing we need in the current economic climate.
“It’s difficult to imagine that someone would be callous enough to steal from a charity.
“However, we’re fortunate in that we’re surrounded by a great bunch of local people who we know will continue to support us with their donations and custom.
“We’re looking forward to getting back to business as usual.”
The shop sells a range of donated goods including clothes, toys, books, records, tapes, jewellery, videos and bric-a-brac items.
Ms Williams added: “It’s a real rarity for one of our shops to be targeted like this, as you would think that most people realise that for an organisation like us every penny counts. It’s absolutely mind- boggling.”
Capability Scotland has 19 charity shops in locations across Scotland, including five in Edinburgh.
In 2009, the store was targeted four times by the same thief. On each occasion, the man approached the counter and snatched cash from the open till before fleeing.