Ipswich: Gang raid Sainsbury’s charity clothes bank four times in three weeks

The Sainsbury's superstore at Warren Heath, where thieves have been raiding the recycling banks.

The Sainsbury's superstore at Warren Heath, where thieves have been raiding the recycling banks. - Credit: Archant

A gang behind more than a dozen thefts from a Sainsbury’s charity clothes bank have struck four times in the last three weeks.

Police said despite the bins in the superstore’s car park at Warren Heath, near Ipswich, being re-designed the thieves have still managed to steal people’s donations.

It is believed an organised eastern European gang is behind the thefts.

The latest incidents all took place between midnight and 4am.

Suffolk Constabulary has said three of the most recent thefts were reported on May 22. The other was reported May 28.


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It is understood the Oxfam bins were targeted on May 12,14, 22, and 28.

Anne Marie-Breach, a spokeswoman for Suffolk Police, said: “We are working to get the crimes detected.

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“There has been a lot of work and liaison between police, Oxfam and Sainsbury’s, and other measures are being explored such as arranging more regular collections from the bins.

“The bins have been re-designed so people could not get into them. However, some donations have not been put into the bins due to the re-design.”

It is understood that in some of the previous thefts over the past six months the culprits may have had the security combination for the lock on the clothes banks.

On another occasion a separate bin was left beside the containers under the guise of collecting shoes and clothes for charity.

However, the 6ft by 4ft bin was apparently nothing to do with Oxfam or any other registered charity.

It was removed when a man turned up in a van to collect it after police were said to have become involved.

The series of thefts go back to at least December last year.

Anyone with information which could help police catch those responsible should telephone Suffolk Constabulary on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Have you got a story? Call the newsdesk on 01473 324790 or email starnews@archant.co.uk

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