herald

Friday 24 February 2017

Heartless thief wrecks SVP shop and 'steals every cent'

The St Vincent de Paul Shop in Cabra after a robbery
The St Vincent de Paul Shop in Cabra after a robbery

A low-life burglar has wrecked a charity shop just weeks before Christmas and made off with €1,500 destined for those most in need.

Gardai were last night studying CCTV footage in a bid to catch the callous thief who rampaged through the St Vincent de Paul charity shop in Cabra, north Dublin.

He took all the cash in the shop and carried off the safe from the office during the late night raid.

The extensive damage to the premises will cost more than €3,000 to repair.

Footage obtained by the Herald shows the raider bursting through the front door before rampaging through the Annamoe Terrace shop.

He severely damaged the door which he kicked several times before gaining entry.

CCTV footage shows him taking the contents of the till and making off with the safe from the back of the shop.

Shocked

The break-in, shortly after 10.15pm on Wednesday, lasted a mere three minutes.

The shop was forced to close for half-a-day yesterday because of the damage as hard-working staff came to terms with the break-in and the loss of donations.

Shop manager Dorcas More O'Ferrall said she was stunned when she arrived yesterday to open the shop and found the door shutter broken.

"I couldn't go inside. I was terrified," she told the Herald.

After alerting gardai, she entered the shop, only to find that all the cash, including the till float, the petty cash and the office safe, had been stolen on one of the shop's busiest days of the year.

"I was shocked," she said. "All the money we made yesterday had gone."

The daily takings would normally have been taken to the bank, but because the shop was so busy with people dropping off donations and buying gifts for Christmas, staff did not even have time to take a break, said Ms More O'Ferrall.

"All the hard work has been for nothing."

Among the cash stolen in the raid were donations that local children had made at fund-raising events in their schools.

The break-in, which prevented the shop from re-opening until yesterday afternoon, also meant that it could not accept much-needed donations in the run-up to Christmas during one of the busiest weeks of the year.

The burglary could not have come at a worse time for the charity, said St Vincent de Paul regional manager Mark O'Brien.

"The amount of need out there is massive," he said. "Things are pretty bad. We're seeing a lot of people still struggling with unemployment and under-employment.

"The loss in revenue means about 40 families will suffer."

The missing money would otherwise have gone to help those in need to pay for food, clothing, utilities and other basic necessities.

Principle

"The money taken by the burglar was for those people who have very little," said Mr O'Brien.

"It's not so much the amount of money that was stolen, it's the principle of it, that someone would steal from those helping the poor."

Gardai at the Bridewell are investigating the incident.

Anyone with information is asked to contact them or the garda confidential line on 1800 666 111.

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