Thieves ransack hospice charity shop causing thousands in damage

Heartbroken staff at a hospice charity shop discovered thieves had broken in and ransacked the premises this morning.

The shop in Walton Vale which raises funds for St Joseph’s Hospice was broken into and “trashed” causing damage to stock as well as structural damage to the building itself.

The charity’s social media account posted on Facebook this morning that the damage to the shop is so great that they will not be able to reopen next week.

They say they have had to spend valuable hospice funds on repairs to the building and replacing expensive items.

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St Joseph's Hospice in Thornton is the oldest and largest hospice on Merseyside.

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It has been providing end of life care for adult patients across Liverpool, Sefton, Knowsley and West Lancashire for more than 40 years.

The burglary was discovered last Wednesday, July 1 but staff suspect that the burglars had been coming in and out of the shop for weeks when it was closed during lockdown.

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Jo Rigby-Clare, retail manager at St. Joseph’s Hospice, said: “We were heartbroken to discover that our newest shop in Walton Vale has been broken in to.

"Thieves have stolen some stock, mainly clothing and jewellery, plus a laptop and tools.

"They have also wrecked the till, clothes steamer and shop furniture.

"Everything they left behind has been trashed.

The burglars entered the shop through the ceiling causing damage estimated in excess of £5,000.

"On top of that, they broke in through the ceiling causing significant damage to the roof and also attempted to break through a brick wall to the shop next door."

The amount of damage done to the shop's ceiling and stock runs into thousands of pounds meaning they won't be able to open again for weeks.

Shop staff believe the burglars had intended to break into the Home Bargains store next door through the wall

Jo added: "Walton Vale is our newest shop and we were really proud of what we had achieved there so it was particularly devastating.

"The shop manager put her heart and soul into it last year so the worst bit was having to show her the damage that has been done when she returned from furlough earlier this week.

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"We expect the damage to exceed £5k as we have to pay for structural repairs to the building and new décor and equipment so we’re appealing to the local community to help us by donating goods for us to sell or by making a donation to the hospice.

"You can do this through www.justgiving.com/jospice/donate or by calling 0151 932 6044."

The hospice also said that while the shop in Walton Vale remains closed, five other shops in Crosby, Netherton, County Road and Kensington will all reopen on Monday as planned, with the Warbreck furniture shop the main drop off point for donations.

The ECHO contacted Merseyside Police for comment and are awaiting a reply.

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