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£3k watch stolen in Lewes charity shop raid
12:30pm Wednesday 17th October 2012 in News
Thieves ripped a safe out of a charity shop, stealing a watch worth thousands of pounds.
They escaped with the £3,000 18 carat gold Half Hunter watch along with five laptop computers and cash from a charity box after breaking into the Age UK shop.
Once inside the building, the burglars removed the safe bolted to the wall and floor and took it and its contents.
Windows were smashed in the kitchen and pennies taken from a stamp tin. Officers believe that the burglars did not know that the watch was in the shop in Cliffe High Street, Lewes, but got lucky.
The store had been given the watch a few weeks earlier and staff were in the process of getting it valued.
The charity said that the money raised from the possible sale of the watch could have provided 60 isolated older people with a day and lunch at one of the charity’s community clubs.
The break-in took place between 6pm and 9am on Saturday and it is thought that the burglars could have gained entry at the rear of the building using scaffolding.
Spilling contents They then went through each office, breaking open filing cabinets and spilling the contents over the floor.
An Age UK East Sussex spokesman said: “This year has been incredibly difficult for the charity. We have already had to cut back a number of our vital services for older people due to reductions in funding. This just makes our difficult financial situation even worse.
“We would like to especially thank our staff and volunteers who are helping to sort out this mess and apologise to our clients for the disruption this may be causing.”
Sergeant Kevin Leete, of Sussex Police, said: “It’s likely that for the quantity of items stolen, a vehicle was used to remove it.”
Anyone who saw anybody acting suspiciously overnight on Friday or early Saturday is asked to call 101, quoting serial 437 of 13/10.