A CHARITY shop is appealing for a volunteer security guard after thieves stole £600 worth of stock during a break-in.The theft from the Cancer Research UK shop on Nicolson Street is thought to have taken place in the early hours of Saturday morning, with the culprits even making off with the charity's donation box.
The shop has been targeted by thieves on at least five occasions since it opened almost 20 years ago and deals with shoplifters on a daily basis.
Elaine Robison, 48, who manages the 18 Cancer Research UK shops in the Edinburgh area, is now appealing for someone to act as a guard, as well as donations to help cover the cost of installing an burglar alarm in the shop.
Miss Robison, of Loanhead, was given the bad news by the store's manager, Sam Watterson, who made the discovery when she went to open the shop on Saturday morning.
Miss Robison said: "I felt absolutely sick. I think it's a very sad state of affairs when people have to reduce themselves to doing this.
"The staff and volunteers are astounded, they just can't believe it. We have had staff in tears. We are all devastated."
Hundreds of pounds worth of new and donated goods were stolen in the raid, including antique cameras and jewellery, which were taken from the window display.
The thieves hand-picked the higher quality clothes from the rails and even made off with the clock from the wall and a bottle of perfume from the staff toilet.
The shop's CD player and fragrance oils and room sprays, created especially for Cancer Research UK, were also stolen.
All the computer games, DVDs and CDs on the media stand were taken too.
Fortunately, no money is kept in the cash register overnight.
Miss Robison believes the thieves entered the shop by breaking the lock on the front door, before making their escape via the back exit.
The shop was closed on Saturday morning as police investigated and staff worked to tidy the store.
Miss Robison said the loss of sales for the morning amounted to around £500.
A police spokesman said enquiries into the matter were ongoing.
He added: "Police were called at around 9.10am on Saturday morning to investigate an alleged housebreaking at a charity shop on Nicolson Street.
"We are now asking for anyone who was in the area on Friday night and noticed anything suspicious to contact police immediately."