Urgent appeal for donations after break-in at British Heart Foundation

Police are trying to track down the victim and any witnesses.
Police are trying to track down the victim and any witnesses.

The British Heart Foundation are urgently appealing for donations, following the devastating news that an estimated £1,500 is needed to help fund repairs and replace stolen goods after Friday night’s break-in.

The much-loved Waterborne Walk store had its safe, collection box, and some Christmas cards taken, as its front door was smashed to force entry into the building.

£200 was taken from the store, money that would have gone towards helping medical research into heart conditions, while a little had been collected to be put aside for the hardworking volunteers’ Christmas meal.

But now the charity are appealing for residents to help donate this Christmas, as the cost of the repairs has been calculated.

Michael Bunning, of The British Heart Foundation, said: “The bottom panel of the front door had been forced open with a screwdriver and the safe had been broken free from its bolts on the concrete floor of the main sorting room.

“Everyone has been shaken up by it and can’t believe someone would do a thing like this. However, sadly, we do actually get people stealing from our charity shop quite often - as soon as you turn your back people can try and take something,”

The Leighton Buzzard shop is urgently appealing to local residents to search through their wardrobes and scour their homes for any unwanted clothing, handbags, shoes, books, DVDs, CDs and household goods – all of which will help the shop bounce back from the recent burglary and continue in the fight for every heartbeat.

The store is also taking precautions against future break-ins by adding extra security measures to the ones that the store already have in place, which include CCTV and making sure that no monies are kept overnight in the shop whatsoever.

Coronary heart disease is the UK’s single biggest killer and each year the charity raise around £30 million, helping to fund life saving heart research. Donations, which are vital to the charity, are desperately needed so that researchers can continue their relentless work.

Tim Reeves, British Heart Foundation Area Manager, says: “We absolutely rely on the support of the local community to keep us running and it is only with their generous support that we are able to fund life saving heart research across the country.

“If each household in the area spent just half an hour having a clear out and donating to their local shop, they would be helping to save lives, it really is as simple as that. Please join the fight for every heartbeat and donate your unwanted items to your local shop.”

A spokesman from Bedfordshire Police said: “ We were called at approximately 09:17 on Saturday, December 10, to reports of a burglary in a charity shop on Waterborne Walk, Leighton Buzzard.

“The offence is believed to have been committed between 17:15 on Friday, December 9, and 08:15 on Saturday, December 10.

“The offenders had forced entry, smashing a glass panel in a door. Money from a safe, a collection box and a selection of Christmas cards have been taken.

“If anyone has information to the offence please call 101 quoting the reference number JD/50642/2016.”