31/10/2018

Cookstown Charity Shop Targeted Twice By Thieves

The head of an international charity has hit out after a shop in County Tyrone was burgled for the second time in the past week.

The Drop Inn's Cookstown store was targeted in the early hours of Tuesday 30 October, one week after thieves made off with a sum of money from a safe.

No money was stolen in the latest incident but a reinforced aluminium door was forced open with a crowbar and now needs to be replaced, causing the charity's most profitable branch to close for up to four days.

The Drop Inn raises money to build schools, feed families and provide medicine to people all around the world through its stores and Tin House Coffee chain.
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Resources must now be diverted away from the life-changing projects and towards repairs and reassurance of staff and volunteers, who have been left badly shaken.

Director of Operations David McBride said: "Today we had to talk about changing opening times, because the team who work in the shop are terrified about being here in the dark nights, it's awful for them.

"We are in an isolated area and they are frightened about leaving here in the evenings, because there are no street lights around.

"We rely on profit to feed, clothe and educate children, but we won't make any this month or maybe even next.

"This threatens to undermine so much of our work."

Mr McBride urged the perpetrator of the attack to reach out for help if they are in such a "dire situation" that they would steal from a charity.

"We would love to bless you," he added.

Police are appealing for anyone with information about the incidents to contact them.



(JG/CM)

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