Northern Ireland

Thieves target Barnardo's charity shops

Barnardo's NI logo
Image caption Barnardo's said the money was 'badly needed'

Thirteen hundred pounds has been stolen in three separate raids on Barnardo's shops, according to the charity.

The organisation said thieves targeted its premises in Ballyclare, Coleraine and Ballymoney over a two week period.

Anne Dawson from Barnardo's descried the robberies as "heart-breaking".

"It's been a real shock and disappointment for the staff who work so hard and for those who donate. Now the money raised is all gone," she added.

They stole £450 from the Ballymoney store, and a further £850 from a shop in Coleraine last weekend.

Ms Dawson said the thieves gained entry through the roofs of the buildings on each occasion, except in Ballyclare because of a concrete layer at the top of the shop.

"The money was in the safes and the safes were hidden behind clothes. They seemed to know where they were going because they moved the clothes and nothing else was touched," she added.

"They cut into the safes and got the money out that way.

"It is heartbreaking because the money was so badly needed."

Ms Dawson said the charity has since reviewed where and how it stores cash.

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