'How could somebody do this?' - Clothes stolen from domestic abuse charity

Lorraine Curston, founder of Dawn's New Horizon domestic abuse support group, outside its charity sh

Lorraine Curston, founder of Dawn's New Horizon. - Credit: Sophie Wyllie

Donated clothes for women escaping domestic abuse have been stolen after a charity shop's shed was broken into twice.

The thefts from the outdoor building took place behind Dawn's New Horizon on Cannerby Lane in Sprowston, between 9.25pm and 10.25pm on Thursday, July 29 and 8.10pm on Tuesday, August 3.

They have been reported to Norfolk Police and the force has been approached for comment.

Lorraine Curston, 55, founder of Dawn's New Horizon domestic abuse support group, said: "I am absolutely devastated and heartbroken. How could somebody do this? We help so many people who flee domestic abuse. We feel let down and upset. It makes you feel very disheartened.

"People who support the shop and volunteers are shocked and have come in to say they are sorry."

CCTV from the first time the Dawn's New Horizon storage shed in Sprowston was broken into on July 29, 2021.

CCTV from the first time the Dawn's New Horizon storage shed in Sprowston was broken into on July 29, 2021. - Credit: Lorraine Curston

She first discovered the initial theft of about £150 worth of donated clothes from 30 suitcases the morning after it happened.

"The shed was full to the brim of clothes. The person had chucked clothes on the floor. It was a mess," added Mrs Curston, who opened the shop nine years ago.

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After an appeal on Facebook a Sprowston resident put on a reinforced lock for free and the outbuilding was restocked only to be targeted days later.

Mrs Curston went to the shop on August 3 after the shop's CCTV alerted her but the criminal, who took fewer items this time, had gone by the time she arrived.

Clothes left outside the Dawn's New Horizon donation storage shed on Cannerby Lane in Sprowston.

Clothes left outside the Dawn's New Horizon donation storage shed on Cannerby Lane in Sprowston after a thief stole clothes from the building on August 3, 2021. - Credit: Lorraine Curston

The 55-year-old believed it was the same man who targeted the shed on both occasions.

She described him as a man in his mid 20s to early 30s, with tanned skin, short, cropped hair and about 5 foot 7 inches tall. He was wearing a two-tone grey zip-up jacket and khaki knee-length shorts.

Sprowston district councillor Natasha Harpley said: "It is awful. Sprowston is safe but when something like this happens it makes you feel uncomfortable. Dawn's New Horizon is a great community resource."

Natasha Harpley, Broadland District Councillor for Sprowston has launched a petition calling on Firs

Natasha Harpley, who represents Sprowston on Broadland District Council. - Credit: Labour Party

Mrs Curston is holding a table top sale at Harford Bridge Tesco on Saturday, August 7 from 10am-2pm to fundraise for a new shed.



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