POLICE have vowed to clamp down on thieves stealing from Urmston charity shops after a number of incidents in the town centre.
Marilyn Connor, who works at the Oxfam store on Station Road, said the shop has been victim of an organised campaign ‘every single night’ for at least three years.
“Even though we try not to let people do it, when we close at night the public leave donations on the step outside the shop,” said Marilyn.
She said men come in a van and steal from all charity shops in Urmston and have smashed store windows and burnt bins when volunteers have complained.
“We lose an inordinate amount of products and I’m sure the other shops would say the same, one of them is already closing,” said Marilyn.
However, in the early hours of November 12, a 25-year-old man was arrested in Urmston town centre after a bag was stolen from the Oxfam store.
His home was searched as part of the investigation and he was cautioned.
Although the man is thought to be a lone opportunist, PC Laura Hindmarch, said: “This is becoming a growing concern in the local area and over the next month GMP will be looking at conducting an operation and increasing patrols to disrupt these thefts which is costing the charities a considerable amount of money.
“Anybody found stealing donations made to charity shops will be arrested, their house will be searched and any vehicles that are used may be seized.”
Marilyn said: “I have spent most of my eight years trying to get exactly this kind of action, I feel comforted by the fact the police are taking it seriously.”