Heartless thieves target Chalk Farm charity shop

Neale Darwin outside the charity shop in the former Marine Ices in Chalk Farm

Neale Darwin outside the charity shop in the former Marine Ices in Chalk Farm - Credit: Archant

Police are hunting heartless burglars who raided a charity shop twice in three days making off with cash and the till.

Horrified staff at the Relief Fund for Romania, in Haverstock Hill, discovered the £50 cash float was missing when they arrived at work last Friday.

Manager Neale Darwin said: “There were no signs of a break-in, but the cash was gone from the till. Luckily most of our takings were not on the premises as we take them home, but we always leave a float in there.”

He was shocked to discover thieves had struck again on Monday when he arrived at work at 10am to discover the whole till was missing this time, with £50 inside.

The charity provides help for children, the elderly and vulnerable people with special needs in Romania.

Staff believe that the burglars broke in through a window in the back of the Chalk Farm premises.

Mr Darwin said: “It is devastating to us to lose our till. Every penny counts to a charity like this. In Romania £100 can make a huge difference to people’s lives.”

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He said of the thieves: “Anyone who would rob a charity is heartless and horrible. We are very upset. To break into a charity shop is the worst thing.

“We work so hard to make every penny to help orphans, children and the elderly.”

Shop co-ordinator Nicola Spratt said the “pop up” branch had only recently opened in the former Marine Ices site.

“The till was not fastened down so they just unplugged it and walked away. It is unbelievable. We are no longer leaving any cash on the premises.

“I suppose charities are easy targets.”

She told how thieves also recently targeted another branch of the charity in North Finchley High Road, smashing through the glass front door to get in.

A Met spokesman confirmed police are investigating Monday’s break-in, but no further details were available as the Ham&High went to press.