Heartless thieves force closure of vital air ambulance charity shop

notts and lincs air ambulance shop sutton broke into. Winifred Dowley, Jennie Cooper and Pauline Hawkins.
notts and lincs air ambulance shop sutton broke into. Winifred Dowley, Jennie Cooper and Pauline Hawkins.

Heartless thieves have forced the closure of a Sutton charity shop after it was broken into for the third time in just weeks last night.

Last night (December 13) thieves struck for a third time is as many weeks at the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance charity shop attempting to steal cash destined to support the Charity’s life-saving work.

The Charity has already had to replace doors and furnishings on the first two occasions, but last night’s attack has seen the worst damage caused so far.

Items kindly donated by members of the public were also stolen on this occasion.

The Charity has been forced to close the shop until further notice at one of the busiest trading times of the year to allow significant repairs to be carried out.

Reinforced doors will also be installed to secure the shop, an expense the Charity could do without. Every penny spent on repairs is money that would otherwise have supported the Charity’s life-saving work.

Chief Executive Officer, Karen Jobling, said: “It is beyond comprehension that someone would steal from a Charity shop.

“These break-ins have really hit our dedicated shop volunteers hard.

“Our volunteers give their time freely to enable the shop to raise funds to support this community’s air ambulance.

“Our volunteers rallied round after the first two break-ins to ensure the shop continued to open as usual, but we can no longer carry on like this.

“We are taking steps to secure the premises but the shop will now have to remain closed for a period of time.

“This is disappointing for the Charity, our shop volunteers and the local people who shop with us. “

Raiders stole cash and a safe after breaking into the Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire Air Ambulance shop on Market View, during the night of Saturday December 3.

On Tuesday Winifred Dowley, a volunteer at the shop, said: “We have lost two weeks’ takings and two days’ sales having the doors fixed.

“They also took money out of the collection box .

“They caused quite a bit of damage which we have had to pay for.

“It is disheartening for volunteers.

“We are suffering very badly when the money and items stolen would have been used to save lives.

“I can’t understand why anyone would do this as we contribute to such an important cause.

“Perhaps they wanted the money for drugs or even to buy Christmas presents?”

The Charity relies on local people to help raise £2.1m a year to ensure the helicopter can continue to respond to around 1,000 life-threatening emergencies, including road traffic collisions, cardiac arrests, horse riding accidents and farming incidents, 365 days a year. The income from the charity shops is an important part of its huge fundraising effort.

If you have any information on the break-ins, contact Lincolnshire Police on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.