IslingtonTribune

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Archway charity toy shop is target of linked burglaries

Thief smashed window and stole till from children’s project

23 March, 2018 — By Samantha Booth

The broken window of The Toy Project

POLICE are investigating a series of linked burglaries in Archway including a till being stolen from a charity shop that donates unwanted toys to children in need.

The window of The Toy Project, in Junction Road, was smashed through on March 12, shattering glass among dozens of toys.

Credit card machines, Nintendo DS games and a console that was to be donated to a child were also stolen. A second attempt was made a week later, but this time the suspects did not manage to break the glass.

Jane Garfield, who runs the shops, said: “We are still finding tiny splinters which isn’t great for a place that children come to play and shop. I don’t feel like we were targeted specifically, I think we were just unlucky.”

The local community has rallied around and has so far raised more than £700 for charity and to help replace the stolen items. One nearby shop donated a replacement till.

The charity supports children in hospital, those who do not have parents, and youngsters from the Grenfell Tower nursery.

Ms Garfield said: “The community has been fantastic by donating to us through our website and on our GoFundMe appeal. The more money we get the better security we can put in place. We have been donated a till and now hope to put CCTV in.”

Jane Garfield

The Junction Café was also broken into and a week later the front door window was smashed in at the Golden Health shop.

Yong Mei Wang, the health shop’s owner, said: “We did not have anything expensive here for them to take. This is the second time that has happened to us, they took our CCTV last year.”

Simon Wang, at Oriental Food, donated the till to The Toy Project, and has taken his own steps for fears of violence. Since July, he has demanded customers show ID before entering the shop, and keeps the shutter down at all times.

Mr Wang, who has been at the shop for seven years, said: “We do not feel safe. It probably will be harder to sleep at night as we are going to worry about what’s going to happen to our shop.”

In Junction ward there were 37 business burglaries in the past year, according to the latest Met Police statistics.

Inspector Steve Murfin from Islington neighbourhood police said: “At this stage the burglaries are being investigated as a linked series. I’d like to reassure the public that we are actively looking for the person who committed this crime and we are increasing patrols within the area to try and combat these offences.”

Any witnesses are asked to contact police on 101.

To donate to The Toy Project fund, visit go­fundme.com/burglary-at-the-the-toy-project

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