Barby Keel charity shop robbed

A CHARITY shop lost £850 cash and materials for a fundraising event in a robbery last week.

The break-in was discovered at the Barby Keel charity shop, St Leonards Road, on Friday morning, when Robert Chenery, a volunteer worker at the shop, arrived at 8.20am.

He found the fire door, leading to the flat above the shop, propped open and the shop ransacked.

Cash had been taken from the back of the shop, whilst upstairs thieves stole alcohol and broke open boxes of toys intended as raffle and tombola prizes for the Barby Keel Animal Sanctuary Open Day on August 9.

Robert said: "We reckon the only way they have got in is they have come in while the shop is open and hidden upstairs in the top flat.

"The fire door had been propped up to keep it from shutting. The shop had been ransacked. They've taken whisky, gin, vodka, brandy."

The stolen money included sponsorship donations raised by a volunteer who had recently completed a sponsored walk for the sanctuary.

Some mens clothing and a microwave had also been taken from the flat, though the robbers ignored more valuable items such as a food heating trolley.

Barby Keel, 74, said: "The stuff that's been stolen is the bits that keeps us going during the winter. January and February hardly bring any money because people get all new gear for Christmas. But we have got to pay the bills. My vets bill for this month was nearly three grand."

A police spokesman said: "The Barbie Keel charity shop was broken into overnight between 3.30pm on June 25 and 8.30am on June 26.

850 in cash was stolen, along with clothing, electrical items and a small quantity of alcohol."

Sgt Dan Russell, of Bexhill Police Station, is appealing for witnesses, and said CCTV footage was being viewed and forensic evidence gathered.

The Barby Keel Animal Sanctuary, on Freezeland Lane, houses over five hundred animals and costs 6,500 a month to run.

The Sanctuary's August open day is the largest fundraising event in its calendar. A free minibus ferries people from Sidley Car Park, Bexhill Town Hall Square and Little Common Roundabout to Freezelands Lane from 11.30am. The fete runs from 12noon-5pm.

Stalls including plants and bric-a-brac, produce, toys and antiques are available.

For information on the Barby Keel Sanctuary or the Open Day, please contact 222032.

If you have any information about the robbery, call Sussex Police on 0845 60 70 999, quoting serial number 355 of 26/06, or call Crimestoppers anonymously and free on 0800 555 111.