Thieves take clothes from charity’s store

Karen Thomas restocks the shelves

Karen Thomas restocks the shelves

First published in Oxford Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by

BURGLARS forced their way into an Oxford charity shop before helping themselves to its stock.

The thieves cost the Helen & Douglas House vintage shop in Summertown hundreds of pound in lost takings.

They took clothes, a basket and jewellery from the specialist shop in Banbury Road.

Although no money was stolen, staff were forced to shut for two days waiting for police to check the premises and to clear up and restock the shelves.

The charity’s head of retail, David Cryer, said: “We couldn’t believe it. It has caused a lot of distress for the staff and volunteers, especially the volunteers, who come in and spend their free time making the shop look nice and making it profitable.

“For them to come in and find this is incredibly disappointing.”

The shop opened in January, selling retro and vintage clothing and homewares.

All the profits go to the hospice in Magdalen Road, East Oxford, which provides care for children and young adults with life-shortening illnesses.

The burglars forced their way in through the shop’s back door some time between last Saturday evening and Tuesday morning.

Staff cannot be sure how many items were stolen, but said each piece in the shop’s stock was a “one-off”.

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Mr Cryer added: “We lost two days of trading, which was potentially about £500 of turnover.

“That’s money that goes directly to the children Helen & Douglas House looks after and the support we give them.

“It’s just the principle of it really. Who breaks into a charity shop?”

Although insured for the damage to the door and shop fittings, the charity will not be compensated for the loss of income or stock.

No police officers were available to visit the shop until Wednesday, a day after the break-in was discovered.

Staff said recordings from a CCTV security system showed more than two people could have been involved in the break-in. Police were unable to confirm this.

Assistant manager Karen Thomas said: “These people don’t think the same as we do. By getting into the shop, they believe they have got these clothes for free. But they don’t think about the people who donated the clothes, who wanted the money to go to the children.”

She added: “The children this money helps are very sick and every penny counts.”

Thames Valley Police spokes-man Alice Adderley confirmed officers had visited the shop and said the delay was because there had been no police available initially.

Anyone with information about the burglary should call Oxford police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Comments (16)

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11:14am Sat 12 May 12

John Lamb says...

Probably the same people who stand casually sifting through the donations left outside the charity shops in Summertown.
Never a policeman around when....well...ever.
Probably the same people who stand casually sifting through the donations left outside the charity shops in Summertown. Never a policeman around when....well...ever. John Lamb
  • Score: 0

4:02pm Sat 12 May 12

carli says...

Mr Lamb..how come it's always the fault of the police? The article says they shut for 2 days for police AND to restock the store. What I would like to know is how Helen and Douglas Charity can afford 2 shops in Summertown and other shops are having to shut?
Mr Lamb..how come it's always the fault of the police? The article says they shut for 2 days for police AND to restock the store. What I would like to know is how Helen and Douglas Charity can afford 2 shops in Summertown and other shops are having to shut? carli
  • Score: 0

4:26pm Sat 12 May 12

John Lamb says...

carli wrote:
Mr Lamb..how come it's always the fault of the police? The article says they shut for 2 days for police AND to restock the store. What I would like to know is how Helen and Douglas Charity can afford 2 shops in Summertown and other shops are having to shut?
Do you ever see them on patrol? No...neither do I?
[quote][p][bold]carli[/bold] wrote: Mr Lamb..how come it's always the fault of the police? The article says they shut for 2 days for police AND to restock the store. What I would like to know is how Helen and Douglas Charity can afford 2 shops in Summertown and other shops are having to shut?[/p][/quote]Do you ever see them on patrol? No...neither do I? John Lamb
  • Score: 0

4:44pm Sat 12 May 12

carli says...

Yes I do...and they are usually dashing from one job to another...I just hope you don't need the police...they are a good lot and deserve better than this country offer them.
Yes I do...and they are usually dashing from one job to another...I just hope you don't need the police...they are a good lot and deserve better than this country offer them. carli
  • Score: 0

11:15pm Sat 12 May 12

Milkbutnosugarplease says...

I'd never heard of this shop and will certainly take a look in future. Let's hope that this crime report works as a free advert in the long term.
I'd never heard of this shop and will certainly take a look in future. Let's hope that this crime report works as a free advert in the long term. Milkbutnosugarplease
  • Score: 0

2:41am Sun 13 May 12

LORD PETER MACVEY 0X2 6EG says...

carli wrote:
Mr Lamb..how come it's always the fault of the police? The article says they shut for 2 days for police AND to restock the store. What I would like to know is how Helen and Douglas Charity can afford 2 shops in Summertown and other shops are having to shut?
It was the fault of the police because there were 4 cars and a full quota of officers a mile down the road in St Giles nicking motorists for doing over 20 mph. But then again there is no money in attending a crime, but loads in handing out fixed penalties.
[quote][p][bold]carli[/bold] wrote: Mr Lamb..how come it's always the fault of the police? The article says they shut for 2 days for police AND to restock the store. What I would like to know is how Helen and Douglas Charity can afford 2 shops in Summertown and other shops are having to shut?[/p][/quote]It was the fault of the police because there were 4 cars and a full quota of officers a mile down the road in St Giles nicking motorists for doing over 20 mph. But then again there is no money in attending a crime, but loads in handing out fixed penalties. LORD PETER MACVEY 0X2 6EG
  • Score: 0

8:12am Sun 13 May 12

Niko Bellic says...

carli wrote:
Mr Lamb..how come it's always the fault of the police? The article says they shut for 2 days for police AND to restock the store. What I would like to know is how Helen and Douglas Charity can afford 2 shops in Summertown and other shops are having to shut?
Charity shops get an 80% discount on business rates. Oxford City Council set their rates remarkably high (the former Felsons sandwich shop - now a kiddies shoe place, less than half the size of H&D was set at £18,000). Therefore the council's policies are putting the other shops out of business while the saving allows charities to survive
[quote][p][bold]carli[/bold] wrote: Mr Lamb..how come it's always the fault of the police? The article says they shut for 2 days for police AND to restock the store. What I would like to know is how Helen and Douglas Charity can afford 2 shops in Summertown and other shops are having to shut?[/p][/quote]Charity shops get an 80% discount on business rates. Oxford City Council set their rates remarkably high (the former Felsons sandwich shop - now a kiddies shoe place, less than half the size of H&D was set at £18,000). Therefore the council's policies are putting the other shops out of business while the saving allows charities to survive Niko Bellic
  • Score: 0

9:37am Sun 13 May 12

carli says...

LORD PETER MACVEY 0X2 6EG wrote:
carli wrote:
Mr Lamb..how come it's always the fault of the police? The article says they shut for 2 days for police AND to restock the store. What I would like to know is how Helen and Douglas Charity can afford 2 shops in Summertown and other shops are having to shut?
It was the fault of the police because there were 4 cars and a full quota of officers a mile down the road in St Giles nicking motorists for doing over 20 mph. But then again there is no money in attending a crime, but loads in handing out fixed penalties.
Lord Macvey how do you know it was the full quota of officers? Again it's not the fault of the police, however I do hope they manage to get a new crystal ball to view what is going to happen in the future!!!!
[quote][p][bold]LORD PETER MACVEY 0X2 6EG[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]carli[/bold] wrote: Mr Lamb..how come it's always the fault of the police? The article says they shut for 2 days for police AND to restock the store. What I would like to know is how Helen and Douglas Charity can afford 2 shops in Summertown and other shops are having to shut?[/p][/quote]It was the fault of the police because there were 4 cars and a full quota of officers a mile down the road in St Giles nicking motorists for doing over 20 mph. But then again there is no money in attending a crime, but loads in handing out fixed penalties.[/p][/quote]Lord Macvey how do you know it was the full quota of officers? Again it's not the fault of the police, however I do hope they manage to get a new crystal ball to view what is going to happen in the future!!!! carli
  • Score: 0

6:03pm Sun 13 May 12

LORD PETER MACVEY 0X2 6EG says...

carli wrote:
LORD PETER MACVEY 0X2 6EG wrote:
carli wrote:
Mr Lamb..how come it's always the fault of the police? The article says they shut for 2 days for police AND to restock the store. What I would like to know is how Helen and Douglas Charity can afford 2 shops in Summertown and other shops are having to shut?
It was the fault of the police because there were 4 cars and a full quota of officers a mile down the road in St Giles nicking motorists for doing over 20 mph. But then again there is no money in attending a crime, but loads in handing out fixed penalties.
Lord Macvey how do you know it was the full quota of officers? Again it's not the fault of the police, however I do hope they manage to get a new crystal ball to view what is going to happen in the future!!!!
Because I wandered into town Tuesday morning and saw it with my own eyes, all four of them, so I am very sure.
[quote][p][bold]carli[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]LORD PETER MACVEY 0X2 6EG[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]carli[/bold] wrote: Mr Lamb..how come it's always the fault of the police? The article says they shut for 2 days for police AND to restock the store. What I would like to know is how Helen and Douglas Charity can afford 2 shops in Summertown and other shops are having to shut?[/p][/quote]It was the fault of the police because there were 4 cars and a full quota of officers a mile down the road in St Giles nicking motorists for doing over 20 mph. But then again there is no money in attending a crime, but loads in handing out fixed penalties.[/p][/quote]Lord Macvey how do you know it was the full quota of officers? Again it's not the fault of the police, however I do hope they manage to get a new crystal ball to view what is going to happen in the future!!!![/p][/quote]Because I wandered into town Tuesday morning and saw it with my own eyes, all four of them, so I am very sure. LORD PETER MACVEY 0X2 6EG
  • Score: 0

12:23am Mon 14 May 12

John Lamb says...

carli wrote:
LORD PETER MACVEY 0X2 6EG wrote:
carli wrote:
Mr Lamb..how come it's always the fault of the police? The article says they shut for 2 days for police AND to restock the store. What I would like to know is how Helen and Douglas Charity can afford 2 shops in Summertown and other shops are having to shut?
It was the fault of the police because there were 4 cars and a full quota of officers a mile down the road in St Giles nicking motorists for doing over 20 mph. But then again there is no money in attending a crime, but loads in handing out fixed penalties.
Lord Macvey how do you know it was the full quota of officers? Again it's not the fault of the police, however I do hope they manage to get a new crystal ball to view what is going to happen in the future!!!!
Decent crime PREVENTION does not require a crystal ball Carli, it simply requires the drive, intelligence and actions of Thames Valley Police officers. If all the police are for is to run around mopping up after criminals, then that's a truly sad state of affairs.
Here's my plan for the charity shop problem: have regular patrols along the main road through Summertown when bags are usually left outside these shops, then arrest anyone caught rifling through these donations.
It's not Columbo but it does seem beyond them at the moment.
If criminals cottoned on too haw few police cars/officers are actually on duty at night, then they would have a field day and the officers would just spend all day responding to the previous night's crimes...oh...it's like a vicious circle isn't it?
[quote][p][bold]carli[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]LORD PETER MACVEY 0X2 6EG[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]carli[/bold] wrote: Mr Lamb..how come it's always the fault of the police? The article says they shut for 2 days for police AND to restock the store. What I would like to know is how Helen and Douglas Charity can afford 2 shops in Summertown and other shops are having to shut?[/p][/quote]It was the fault of the police because there were 4 cars and a full quota of officers a mile down the road in St Giles nicking motorists for doing over 20 mph. But then again there is no money in attending a crime, but loads in handing out fixed penalties.[/p][/quote]Lord Macvey how do you know it was the full quota of officers? Again it's not the fault of the police, however I do hope they manage to get a new crystal ball to view what is going to happen in the future!!!![/p][/quote]Decent crime PREVENTION does not require a crystal ball Carli, it simply requires the drive, intelligence and actions of Thames Valley Police officers. If all the police are for is to run around mopping up after criminals, then that's a truly sad state of affairs. Here's my plan for the charity shop problem: have regular patrols along the main road through Summertown when bags are usually left outside these shops, then arrest anyone caught rifling through these donations. It's not Columbo but it does seem beyond them at the moment. If criminals cottoned on too haw few police cars/officers are actually on duty at night, then they would have a field day and the officers would just spend all day responding to the previous night's crimes...oh...it's like a vicious circle isn't it? John Lamb
  • Score: 0

1:03pm Mon 14 May 12

rugby roy says...

One of my colleagues had a bicycle stolen from outside our offices in Summertown last month. We had CCTV footage of the thieves but the police, despite being informed, have never followed it up
One of my colleagues had a bicycle stolen from outside our offices in Summertown last month. We had CCTV footage of the thieves but the police, despite being informed, have never followed it up rugby roy
  • Score: 0

3:09pm Mon 14 May 12

iklhik says...

rugby roy wrote:
One of my colleagues had a bicycle stolen from outside our offices in Summertown last month. We had CCTV footage of the thieves but the police, despite being informed, have never followed it up
Part of the problem is the courts hand out ridiculously lenient sentences, part of the problem is that a lot of the crimes are committed by people who enjoy caravanning more than me, and the police are scared to intervene.
[quote][p][bold]rugby roy[/bold] wrote: One of my colleagues had a bicycle stolen from outside our offices in Summertown last month. We had CCTV footage of the thieves but the police, despite being informed, have never followed it up[/p][/quote]Part of the problem is the courts hand out ridiculously lenient sentences, part of the problem is that a lot of the crimes are committed by people who enjoy caravanning more than me, and the police are scared to intervene. iklhik
  • Score: 0

3:57pm Mon 14 May 12

LORD PETER MACVEY 0X2 6EG says...

iklhik wrote:
rugby roy wrote:
One of my colleagues had a bicycle stolen from outside our offices in Summertown last month. We had CCTV footage of the thieves but the police, despite being informed, have never followed it up
Part of the problem is the courts hand out ridiculously lenient sentences, part of the problem is that a lot of the crimes are committed by people who enjoy caravanning more than me, and the police are scared to intervene.
In light of the comments by Trevor Phillips it seems that the police are scared of not only the "happy Campers" when it comes to treading on toes.
[quote][p][bold]iklhik[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]rugby roy[/bold] wrote: One of my colleagues had a bicycle stolen from outside our offices in Summertown last month. We had CCTV footage of the thieves but the police, despite being informed, have never followed it up[/p][/quote]Part of the problem is the courts hand out ridiculously lenient sentences, part of the problem is that a lot of the crimes are committed by people who enjoy caravanning more than me, and the police are scared to intervene.[/p][/quote]In light of the comments by Trevor Phillips it seems that the police are scared of not only the "happy Campers" when it comes to treading on toes. LORD PETER MACVEY 0X2 6EG
  • Score: 0

4:50pm Mon 14 May 12

saffron lady says...

'Lord' McVey - the burglary could have happened anytime between Saturday and Tuesday morning so, unless you have insider information about this crime, it is irrelevant that you saw four police officers in St Giles Tuesday morning, the crime had already been committed. Do us all a favour and get a life.
'Lord' McVey - the burglary could have happened anytime between Saturday and Tuesday morning so, unless you have insider information about this crime, it is irrelevant that you saw four police officers in St Giles Tuesday morning, the crime had already been committed. Do us all a favour and get a life. saffron lady
  • Score: 0

4:42pm Tue 15 May 12

carli says...

saffron lady wrote:
'Lord' McVey - the burglary could have happened anytime between Saturday and Tuesday morning so, unless you have insider information about this crime, it is irrelevant that you saw four police officers in St Giles Tuesday morning, the crime had already been committed. Do us all a favour and get a life.
saffron lady thank you for wise words....at least someone isn't have a go at the police.
[quote][p][bold]saffron lady[/bold] wrote: 'Lord' McVey - the burglary could have happened anytime between Saturday and Tuesday morning so, unless you have insider information about this crime, it is irrelevant that you saw four police officers in St Giles Tuesday morning, the crime had already been committed. Do us all a favour and get a life.[/p][/quote]saffron lady thank you for wise words....at least someone isn't have a go at the police. carli
  • Score: 0

5:14pm Tue 15 May 12

saffron lady says...

John Lamb wrote:
carli wrote:
LORD PETER MACVEY 0X2 6EG wrote:
carli wrote:
Mr Lamb..how come it's always the fault of the police? The article says they shut for 2 days for police AND to restock the store. What I would like to know is how Helen and Douglas Charity can afford 2 shops in Summertown and other shops are having to shut?
It was the fault of the police because there were 4 cars and a full quota of officers a mile down the road in St Giles nicking motorists for doing over 20 mph. But then again there is no money in attending a crime, but loads in handing out fixed penalties.
Lord Macvey how do you know it was the full quota of officers? Again it's not the fault of the police, however I do hope they manage to get a new crystal ball to view what is going to happen in the future!!!!
Decent crime PREVENTION does not require a crystal ball Carli, it simply requires the drive, intelligence and actions of Thames Valley Police officers. If all the police are for is to run around mopping up after criminals, then that's a truly sad state of affairs.
Here's my plan for the charity shop problem: have regular patrols along the main road through Summertown when bags are usually left outside these shops, then arrest anyone caught rifling through these donations.
It's not Columbo but it does seem beyond them at the moment.
If criminals cottoned on too haw few police cars/officers are actually on duty at night, then they would have a field day and the officers would just spend all day responding to the previous night's crimes...oh...it's like a vicious circle isn't it?
So Mr Lamb, you would rather police deal with theft of charity bags on a busy weekend night shift, spending a minimum of four hours in custody dealing with the offenders, than patrolling the streets and dealing with more pressing crimes. I'm sure you wouldn't be happy if you had been assaulted and were told 'sorry, but all our officers are tied up in custody with charity bag thieves'!
[quote][p][bold]John Lamb[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]carli[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]LORD PETER MACVEY 0X2 6EG[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]carli[/bold] wrote: Mr Lamb..how come it's always the fault of the police? The article says they shut for 2 days for police AND to restock the store. What I would like to know is how Helen and Douglas Charity can afford 2 shops in Summertown and other shops are having to shut?[/p][/quote]It was the fault of the police because there were 4 cars and a full quota of officers a mile down the road in St Giles nicking motorists for doing over 20 mph. But then again there is no money in attending a crime, but loads in handing out fixed penalties.[/p][/quote]Lord Macvey how do you know it was the full quota of officers? Again it's not the fault of the police, however I do hope they manage to get a new crystal ball to view what is going to happen in the future!!!![/p][/quote]Decent crime PREVENTION does not require a crystal ball Carli, it simply requires the drive, intelligence and actions of Thames Valley Police officers. If all the police are for is to run around mopping up after criminals, then that's a truly sad state of affairs. Here's my plan for the charity shop problem: have regular patrols along the main road through Summertown when bags are usually left outside these shops, then arrest anyone caught rifling through these donations. It's not Columbo but it does seem beyond them at the moment. If criminals cottoned on too haw few police cars/officers are actually on duty at night, then they would have a field day and the officers would just spend all day responding to the previous night's crimes...oh...it's like a vicious circle isn't it?[/p][/quote]So Mr Lamb, you would rather police deal with theft of charity bags on a busy weekend night shift, spending a minimum of four hours in custody dealing with the offenders, than patrolling the streets and dealing with more pressing crimes. I'm sure you wouldn't be happy if you had been assaulted and were told 'sorry, but all our officers are tied up in custody with charity bag thieves'! saffron lady
  • Score: 0

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