Shock as burglars ransack East Sussex charity shop

The scene of the break-in at Furniture Now! charity shop in Eastbourne SUS-160607-121853001
The scene of the break-in at Furniture Now! charity shop in Eastbourne SUS-160607-121853001

A charity team has been left in shock after a ‘premeditated attack’ on one of its shops today (July 6).

At 3.50am this morning Petrina Mayson, chief executive of the Now! charity group, was told one of its Furniture Now! stores had been broken into and ransacked.

The scene of the break-in at Furniture Now! charity shop in Eastbourne  SUS-160607-122101001

The scene of the break-in at Furniture Now! charity shop in Eastbourne SUS-160607-122101001

The charity has shops in Lewes, Hailsham and Eastbourne.

According to a spokeswoman, a section of the building in Courtlands Road, Eastbourne, was destroyed as a large window was smashed before chains were applied to the security bars and a vehicle was used to pull the bars away.

“The safe was forcibly removed and contained very minimal cash but also mobile phones, fuel cards, sat navs, keys and other essential items that will need to be replaced at a cost to the charity,” said the spokeswoman.

“The charity is endeavouring to continue with business as usual from the premises despite this devastating event.”

Petrina said the view when she arrived at the shop to inspect the damage was ‘devastating’.

“I am so shocked that anyone would want to steal from a charity that provides people with a bed to sleep in or help with learning to read and write,” she said.

“The Furniture Now! store that has been broken into provides very low-cost furniture for people receiving benefits.

“We provide emergency items for people in crisis, so I don’t understand why this has happened.”

The Now! Charity Group has five premises across Eastbourne, Lewes and Hailsham.

There are two main parts, Furniture Now! and Training Now!

Both are designed to help members of the community to get back on their feet, feel happy and get back into work.

The charity helps more than 35,000 East Sussex residents every year.

“The whole team is struggling to comprehend how anyone could maliciously target a charity that helps local people facing issues with poverty, health issues and education,” said the spokeswoman.

“The Now! Charity Group is appealing for help in solving this crime.”

A Sussex Police spokesman said: “At about 3.15am on Wednesday (July 6), police were called to a report of a break in at a charity shop in Eastbourne.

“Significant damage was caused to the front of Furniture Now in Courtlands Road, which has been secured while officers investigate the full circumstances.

“Witnesses are asked to contact 101@sussex.police.uk or call 101, quoting 155 of 06/07.”

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