Grantham

Charity devastated as man charged for lockdown shop break-in

Staff at St Barnabas Hospice were left devastated after an alleged break-in at their shop in Grantham. A man has been charged.

Lincolnshire Police received a report that the shop on Welby Street was broken into at around 6pm on Sunday, April 19.

Damage was caused to the door and till, which was empty as the shop is currently closed due to the coronavirus crisis. An old collection box was found and taken, but it is not believed to have had a lot of money inside it.

Police confirmed on Monday afternoon that Grantham man Steve Watson, 37, has been charged with burglary.

He is due to appear at Lincoln Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, April 21.

Inside the shop. Photo: St Barnabas Hospice

Caroline Peach, Head of Retail at St Barnabas Hospice, said: “We feel thankful that we were able to clear our shops of valuables when we closed them for this period of isolation.

“I would like to say a huge thank you to the residents of the flat above the shop, who were able to alert the police quickly when the break-in occurred.

“A break-in to one of our shops is devastating at any time, but in the current situation, with charities struggling with a loss of income, it is particularly upsetting.

Damage was caused to the door and till, which was empty. Photo: St Barnabas Hospice

“There has been so much kindness shown to the hospice over the past few weeks and it breaks my heart to know that there are people out there targeting organisations like ours, who just want to do good in the community.

We are facing losses of £1 million over the next three months due to closed charity shops and cancelled fundraising activities. This mindless act of vandalism puts added pressure on our staff and finances as we work to secure the shop again.

Damage was caused to the till, which fortunately was empty. Photo: St Barnabas Hospice

“Above all, our nurses are still continuing to care for patients and families throughout this crisis. If you are able to support with a donation, however great or small, it would mean the world to us after such a difficult piece of news.”

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