Huge community response after Edinburgh charity shop ransacked by thieves

GENEROUS locals have rallied to restock a charity shop ransacked by thieves in an overnight raid.

Thursday, 17th January 2019, 8:21 pm
Updated Friday, 18th January 2019, 12:40 am
Sharron Fraser is overwhelmed at the generosity of local residents. Pic: Lisa Ferguson
Sharron Fraser is overwhelmed at the generosity of local residents. Pic: Lisa Ferguson

Thugs smashed their way into the Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland store in Davidson’s Mains in the early hours of Tuesday morning before unscrewing a safe from the wall and escaping with money from the collection box.

Shop bosses admitted the break-in had left an “emotional scar” on staff.

But now, local residents and school children have united to organise a mass donation to the store, while a local handyman has offered his services to carry out repair work for free.

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A post on the charity’s official Facebook page announcing the news was shared more than 250 times, with offers of help quickly flooding in.

Manager Sharron Fraser told the Evening News she only found out about the break-in when she arrived at work on Tuesday morning, but admitted she was “stunned and delighted” to see the swell of support offered by the local community.

She said: “It was actually the crossing guard outside who told me the news, but when I got to the store, I just couldn’t believe it.

“The back door was wide open and there was just wood and nails everywhere, the back office was completely trashed.”

Sharron added: “I was in shock, but the response from the local community has just been absolutely phenomenal.”

“We just asked if anyone could come forward with donations, even if they could come in and buy something small just to help us get back on our feet, but now we have people saying they are going to do a mass donation.”

“Craig Rennie of Parkgrove Handyman Services has offered to secure safes and carry out repairs to the back door for us, Cramond Primary School are doing a massive donation and collection and even the local parish church were round handing in some home baking.”

“It is really wonderful to see the community coming together.”

Sharron, 44, revealed it was the fourth time the charity shop had been targeted in the past six years.

In April 2013, vandals caused more than £500 worth of damage and made off with around £80 in cash after breaking into the store.

And Sharron admitted this latest attack had made her “concerned,” adding: “This has happened three times before, it just leaves you absolutely sick to your stomach. It does concern me, a lot of local charity shops are targeted, thieves think we are an easy target.

“These people don’t realise the emotional damage that they cause, it’s the stress for the staff, even the customers.”

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “We are investigating following a break-in and theft from a charity shop in Davidson’s Mains.

“The incident took place overnight on Monday, January 14 into Tuesday, January 15, during which time a quantity of cash was stolen.

“Inquiries are ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact Police Scotland on 101, quoting incident number 0643 of January 15.”