Man arrested after CCTV appeal into domestic abuse charity shop theft

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

Lorraine Curston, founder of Dawn's New Horizon domestic abuse support group, outside its charity shop on Cannerby Lane, Sprowston, in April 2021. - Credit: Sophie Wyllie

A man suspected of stealing clothes from a domestic abuse charity has been arrested following a successful CCTV appeal.

Police investigating two burglaries at a Sprowston charity shop have confirmed a man has been identified. 

Clothes were stolen from a shed outside Dawn’s New Horizon on Cannerby Lane on Thursday July 29 and again on Tuesday August 3. 

Officers investigating the burglaries released a CCTV image of a man they wanted to speak with on Monday August 16. 

The man has since been identified as a result of the appeal and has since been arrested on suspicion of two counts of burglary and two counts of theft. 

He was questioned at Wymondham Police Investigation Centre and has been released under investigation while enquiries continue. 

The clothes were donated for women escaping domestic abuse which were being stored in the shop's shed.

Charity founder Lorraine Curston said she was "devastated" and "heartbroken" after she discovered the initial theft of about £150 worth of donated clothes - from 30 suitcases - the morning after it happened.

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In a previous interview with this paper, she said: "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.

"The shed was full to the brim of clothes. The person had chucked clothes on the floor. It was a mess."

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.

Following this, Mrs Curston held a tabletop sale at Harford Bridge Tesco on Saturday, August 7 as she tried to fundraise for a new shed.