Express & Star

Dudley charity shop break-in causes thousands of pounds of damage

Thieves smashed their way into a Black Country charity shop, causing thousands of pounds of damage – to steal just £20.


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The Arc-Aid charity shop in New Street, Dudley, was targeted by thieves who smashed their way in through the back door and also caused damage to guttering and the shop's alarm system.

The shop raises money for charities and organisations helping people with asbestos related cancers and industrial diseases.

The charity was founded by Mary Law, whose son Royston Shipley died from an asbestos related cancer in 2010, aged 51.

The Arc-Aid charity shop in New Street, Dudley, was broken into

The 88-year-old, who lives in Wordsley, opened the charity's only shop the following year.

Mary said: "They smashed the back door to get in, they pulled some guttering down and they smashed the alarm off the wall.

"They've probably caused up to £5,000 worth of damage in repairs that will need to be carried out. All that and they got away with £20 from the till.

"I'm sickened by it. It's taking money away from the charity.

"I'm hoping we can claim via the shop insurance but it's not a given.

Mary Law with the damaged door

"I think we've failed as a community when you have people so desperate. It's really sad."

The break-in happened at some point between the charity shop being closed at 3.30pm last Thursday and Friday morning.

Mary added: "If anyone saw anything or has any information, I would urge them to contact police."

A spokesman for West Midlands Police said: "We received a report at 9am on Friday that cash was taken after a shop in New Street, Dudley had been broken into overnight.

"We have made enquiries and are asking for anyone with information to contact us via live chat on our website quoting log 835 of February 23."