‘So much for the season of goodwill’

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Heartless thieves stole hundreds of pounds from a Glengormley charity shop last week, including money that volunteers had been saving for a Christmas party.

Police have reported a spate of burglaries at commercial premises over the past few weeks, including break-ins at charity shops and the theft of charity collection boxes.

In the latest incidents, charity money was stolen from premises in Whiteabbey and Whitehouse, and a Glengormley charity shop was forced to close for several hours following a break-in.

Sometime between 5.30pm on Tuesday, November 19 and 8.30am the following day, a number of unknown persons gained entry to the Cancer Research shop on the Antrim Road by smashing their way through a fire panel.

Manager Paul Stirk said the thieves made off with items of jewellery, a radio and almost £500 in cash, including £100 that the shop volunteers had saved up to pay for their Christmas dinner.

The shop was forced to close following the incident but has since reopened and is trading as normal.

UUP Councillor John Scott, who runs the Twice Is Nice charity shop at nearby Tramways, described the break-in as “disgusting”.

“It is utterly appalling that thieves would stoop so low as to break into a charity shop and steal from an organisation that is working to try to find ways to treat and cure cancer. So much for the season of goodwill,” he said.

“It’s disgusting that anyone would do this and I hope that whoever did it will be caught and brought before the courts and publicly shamed for what they’ve done.”

Meanwhile, sometime between 3pm on Sunday, November 17 and 8.30am the next day, thieves gained entry to The Chip Yard fast food outlet at the Shore Road/Glenville Road junction in Whiteabbey by kicking through a vent at the rear of the property. They made off with two charity boxes and a sum of cash.

And officers from the Macedon Neighbourhood Policing Team are investigating a burglary at a shop near the Doagh Road/Shore Road junction in Whitehouse.

Some time between the business closing on Monday, November 18 and reopening the following day, thieves gained entry to the property via a locked bathroom window. Items stolen included a sum of cash, a Kindle with a royal blue leather cover and money from three charity boxes.

Investigating officers have appealed for anyone with information about any of these incidents to contact them on 0845 600 8000.