Sue Ryder charity pens open letter to thieves who smashed up shop

Angry workers from the Sue Ryder shop in Bury St Edmunds after a break in. From left to right: Lisa

Angry workers from the Sue Ryder shop in Bury St Edmunds after a break in. From left to right: Lisa Kennedy, Sue Ward and Nick Cytacki. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Staff at a Bury St Edmunds charity shop which was raided by thieves on Tuesday say the effect of the break-in has sent ‘ripples’ through the wider community.

Sue Ward at the shop front door. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Sue Ward at the shop front door. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Thieves struck the Sue Ryder shop in Out Northgate in the early hours of Tuesday morning, making away with around £300 in cash and trashing the store.

Sue Ward, shop manager, said the money that was taken should have gone towards providing care for people with end of life and long term medical needs.

She said: “I think it happened at around 3am, one of our volunteers noticed the damage when she arrived at 8.30am.

“When she saw the damage she thought at first it had been caused by moving furniture out of the store.

The Sue Ryder charity has penned an open letter to the people who broke into its shop in Bury St Edm

The Sue Ryder charity has penned an open letter to the people who broke into its shop in Bury St Edmunds, explaining where the cash they stole would have been spent. Picture: GREGG BROWN


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“It was when she saw the rest of the shop she realised what had happened.

“They had tried the front door first and tried to jimmy the bottom door lock but couldn’t get in so they tried to get a different route.”

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In response to the break-in, the charity have penned an open letter to the thieves to let them know the effect the raid has had on the charity and what the vital funds should have been spent on.

Mrs Ward said the shop had been ransacked.

Around �700 was stolen from the store, bosses believe. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Around �700 was stolen from the store, bosses believe. Picture: GREGG BROWN

She said: “We have got to have some work done to get things straight.

“The office was a huge mess, they had ransacked it and had also damaged our till.

“The donation win is built into the counter and they have damaged that too when they tried to open it with a crowbar.

“We have now got to pay for a new safe because the safe door was damaged.

“We couldn’t open the shop all morning until the forensics team had left so had to turn away donations.

“You may think all they have done is take an amount of money but its the knock on effect it has.

“It has sent ripples all the way through our community.

“If you equate that money into health care you are talking about money for nurses, money for scans.”

A police spokesman said they were appealing to the public for witnesses.

If you saw anything suspicious in the area at the time of the break-in or have any information that could assist officers in their investigation, call 101 quoting reference 376289/18

Letter from Sue Ryder charity to thieves who raided shop in Bury St Edmunds

We don’t know who you are, your situation, or what you might be going through and how desperate you may be. But we find it upsetting that you would steal from Sue Ryder Bury St Edmunds - a charity shop.

Not just take an item from our shelves without paying, which would be bad enough, but break in to the shop overnight and steal money from our till.

We would like you to know that when you stole from our shop, your actions had a ripple effect.

You stole not just from us, but from the wider community too.

You might not know that the Sue Ryder Bury St Edmunds shop, like other charity shops, relies on donations from the public.

The generous people who donate their clothing and books to our shop could have sold these items on themselves for their own benefit, yet choose instead to donate to Sue Ryder.

Sue Ryder shops across the UK support the care we provide for people with life-changing conditions in their homes, at our hospices and in the community.

With the money taken from the till, the cost of repairs and the loss of takings having to close the shop following the break-in we estimate to have lost £700 - money that could have paid for a hospice nurse for a week.

Patients at Sue Ryder hospices might not have much time left, and they, along with their families and friends, need support and a helping hand from our hospice nurses.

In other words, the money you stole would have helped others cope with some of the most challenging and emotional times of their lives.

But possibly the most important thing for you to know is that thanks to the generosity of the Bury community, our shop, which has been going strong for four years, is bouncing back. With more donations, volunteers and happy customers, we’ll raise more money to continue helping those who need it.

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