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Charity cash is stolen in raid on Caledonian Road bookshop

Burglars make off with till and donation box

30 August, 2019 — By Emily Finch

Housmans volunteer Klaemint Hofgaard and member of staff Sophie Bowley-Aicken

BURGLARS leapt across roofs before breaking into a radical bookshop in King’s Cross through a back window to steal their cash till and donation box last Thursday.

Cristina Rios, a staff member of Housmans Bookshop in Caledonian Road, estimated that between £200 to £300 had been stolen.

“When I arrived on Thursday morning I went to the back of the shop and found broken scissors, a letter opener and coins all over the floor.

“They had been trying to open the till but couldn’t manage it and took the whole thing,” she said.

Just hours before the raid, the shop had hosted a talk on a book about Laurie Cunningham, a pioneering black footballer from Archway who played for Real Madrid and England.

“We had a lot more money in the till than usual but so many people have been coming into the shop to support us after the break-in,” said Ms Rios.

Housmans Bookshop in Caledonian Road

An “almost full” donation box for charity Haven Distribution, which provides books to prisoners, had also been snatched.

Ms Rios, who has worked at the bookshop for four years, said the incident was “very unsettling”.

She added: “It’s the first successful burglary [here] that I know of.”

All of the windows at the back of the shop have now been replaced and new security measures have been put in place, she said.

Klaemint Hofgaard, a volunteer at the bookshop which opened in 1945 with aims of promoting peace, said: “I was shocked by the break-in but luckily it wasn’t too much money. Of course, these things shouldn’t happen.”

Sophie Bowley-Aicken, who also works at the shop, said shoplifting was a “problem”, with anarchist books frequently pinched.

Those with information about the break-in are urged to contact the police by calling 101.

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