Firefighters were called to a report of a fire in a West Heath charity shop last weekend.
The Wounded Minds Charitable Organisation shop had just reopened after being hit by a string of break ins and apparent acts of vandalism – including excrement smeared on a carpet – over the last 2 months, the trustees report.
The registered charity aims to raise funds for the mental wellbeing of war veterans both in the UK and overseas – by donating to Combat Stress UK and the Veterans Administration Ghana.
A neighbour of the shop in Fairfax Road called West Midlands Fire Service after seeing signs of fire in the early hours of Saturday morning (29th July).
On this occasion, items were strewn around the shop, paint thrown at the walls and a fire was started in an office.
Thankfully, firefighters from Northfield extinguished the fire before more damage was caused.
One of the charity’s trustees, who runs the shop said she was ‘shocked, broken and devastated’ about the incidents.
She said: “I’m just pleading with the neighbours, any one who has an idea or any information concerning this break ins and act to PLEASE get in touch with the police.”
Anyone with information on this latest incident is asked to contact West Midlands Police on Live Chat at www.west-midlands.police.uk (8am – midnight) or to call 101 any time. Please quote crime reference 20BW/153524C/19
Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit www.crimestoppers-uk.org
Their shop in Fairfax Road was first broken into on the 25th April 2019. On this occasion, the till and a collection tin were stolen.
However, in subsequent break-ins, nothing of value was taken.
On 31st May two further break-ins were reported to police. Nothing appeared to be stolen but items in the shop were left thrown around and on the floor.
Excrement and eggs
In the latest incident, on 10th June, the shop was broken into and vandalised: excrement was smeared onto the carpet using clothing from the shop rails and eggs were also thrown at the walls.
Appealing for local people to come forward with information, a spokesperson for Wounded Minds said: “[We] don’t know the motive behind these break-ins but it’s frustrating and unbearable, especially taking into consideration it’s a charity shop.”
West Midlands Police confirm they are investigating the reports.