Yobs swipe children’s charity shop prizes

Zara at the charity shop opening last year.
Zara at the charity shop opening last year.

Heartless thieves swiped hundreds of pounds worth of children’s raffle prizes from a charity shop in Featherstone.

Yobs targeted the Zara’s Foundation shop in Station Lane during the early hours of Tuesday morning, stealing £500 worth of donations meant for an Easter giveaway.

Jean McGuinness, whose nine-year-old daughter Zara launched the Foundation in 2011 to help struggling families, said burglars looted the shop after smashing a window and made off with an iPod Shuffle and iPod Nano, a Tiffany necklace, Easter eggs and soft toys donated by the public.

She said: “I’m disgusted – it’s a charity shop. We are here to help people in the Five Towns. We’re not here to make a vast amount of money.

“Every penny we make goes back into the community, so they have stolen from themselves.”

Mrs McGuinness, of Huntwick Crescent, said the items were due to be given to youngsters at an Easter event on March 30.

She added that Zara, who opened the second-hand store in her home town to help raise cash for the Foundation, was “devastated” by the break-in.

She said: “Zara has been in tears. She doesn’t understand why they would steal the prizes. As far as she was concerned they were for children, and they were prizes they would have loved.”

Mrs McGuinness is now appealing for help to get the window replaced and can be contacted on 07904 779490.

A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said officers are investigating the incident.

He said: “We got a call at 8.20am that someone had spotted a broken window at the break-in. It has been confirmed as a burglarly and inquiries are ongoing.”

Anyone who witnessed the incident or has information should call 101.


DISGUSTED Jean McGuinness

DEVASTATED: Zara McGuinness started the shop last year.