Heartless thieves steal charity shop boxes during burglary at Sunderland shop

Heartless thieves have broken in to a Sunderland shop and stolen the charity collection boxes and dumped the charity flowers in the bin.

Monday, 4th May 2020, 2:43 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th May 2020, 2:26 pm
The door was kicked in by thieves.

Owner of Kemps Wool Shop, Barry Cuthbertson, was called late on Saturday night after thieves had broken into the Chester Road store making off with the charity boxes and children’s clothing.

The 62-year-old, who has owned the shop for more than 35 years, says he has been using the store’s lockdown closure to carry out maintenance work such as painting and installing new lights.

But on Friday, May 1, the motor of the store's shutter broke and couldn’t be repaired over the weekend so Barry left a small gap at the bottom so he could still gain access to the store.

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The Marie Curie charity flowers were thrown in the bin

The next night, he received a call to say the alarm was going off and arrived to find four police cars outside.

Thieves had scrambled under the shutter and kicked the door in before making off with charity boxes and children’s clothing.

“It’s frustrating but no body was hurt – it’s just one of those things,” Barry said.

“The shop is closed because of everything that is going on and you can do without something like this happening at the best of times.”

E. Kemps Wool Shop owner Barry Cuthbertson angry over the break-in and theft of charity boxes

Adding: “It won’t cost much to repair but it’s the convenience more than anything. Everyone has enough to deal with at the moment.

“There’s so many people that are going through a lot worse than this – this is nothing to that.”

His grandmother, Elizabeth Kemps, and mum, Margaret Cuthbertson, originally started making dresses from the front room of their house 73 years ago.

Mrs Cuthbertson, who is now 91, and her sister Dorothy Harding then converted what was once a family home into the Wool Shop.

Kemps Wool Shop

A Northumbria Police spokesperson said: “At 10.36pm on Saturday (May 2) we received a report of a burglary at Kemps Wool Shop on Chester Road, Sunderland.

“It was reported that offenders had gained access to the premises and stolen children’s clothing and a number of charity collection boxes, before making off.”

An investigation is ongoing and anyone with information should contact police via the website’s ‘Tell Us Something’ page quoting log 1186 020520.

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