Wymondham toy shop owner thanks community after fundraiser

Richard Harding outside Puff's Toy Shop Image copyright Puff's Toy Shop
Image caption Richard Harding praised the community's "remarkable" gesture

Hundreds of pounds have been raised for a family-run toy shop after it was targeted by fraudsters.

Conmen exchanged £200 worth of fake bank notes for toys and change at Puff's Toy Shop in Wymondham, Norfolk.

Owner Richard Harding's stepson Toby had been left in charge on Saturday, when he was "pressured" into accepting counterfeit £50 notes.

The news prompted residents to rally together to raise £200 in less than two days through an online page.

Mr Harding, 52, described the gesture as "remarkably generous".

"The local community has always been good and Wymondham is a lovely place," he said.

Mr Harding said he believed the culprits, who did not have local accents, were from out of the area.

The online fundraiser was set up by a resident after Mr Harding posted a Facebook message about how "gutted" the scam had left the family.

Significant part of profits

Toby, aged 17, was working alone when a man came in and bought a cheap toy with a fake note.

Two younger men then visited and bought a second cheap toy, before they asked to swap notes for change.

"When the thieves came in, he was on his own and being 17 he hasn't seen an awful lot of £50 notes before," Mr Harding said.

"That was a significant part of the week's profits."

Although a detector pen was used, it did not identify the counterfeit notes.

A police spokesman confirmed the force was investigating and urged businesses to be vigilant.

He added the force was aware of four more cases involving fake Scottish £50 notes being used in the Norwich area on 22 November.

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