The manager of a Wanstead charity shop has spoken of his shock and disbelief after thieves broke in and stole thousands of pounds worth of donated goods.
The British Heart Foundation store in High Street, Wanstead was burgled at around 3am last Tuesday.
The shop’s manager, Jason Cook, 26, said: “We came in on Tuesday morning and the office had been totally trashed.
“I was in total shock and disbelief. I’m only thankful that they didn’t touch the shopfloor.”
The burglars broke in through a back window making off with jewellery, DVDs and other valuable donations.
Mr Cook said: “With the damage they caused and the items they stole, we are looking at around £5,000.
“Why would anyone do this? All of us are absolutely heartbroken.”
Mr Cook said he believed that security cameras in the car park at the rear of the shop were not working and is waiting anxiously for an update from the police.
He said: “We are making the back of the shop more secure, but our main priority is replacing the stock we have lost.”
Lou Harbour, the area manager for the British Heart Foundation, appealed for people to bring in donations to help.
She said: “We absolutely rely on the support of the Wanstead community to keep us running and without their vital donations we risk reducing the care and support available to heart patients across the country.
“If each household were willing to spend just half an hour having a clear out and donating to the Wanstead Shop it would make a big difference.”
And Mr Cook said that the public had already shown their support.
He explained: “Everyone has been amazing.
“We have had lots of people coming in with donations saying they are so sorry to hear what happened. We are massively grateful to the local community.
“Our message is that while we are upset, we won’t be beaten down by this. We are open as normal.”
Redbridge Police have been asked to comment.