Burglars ransack foodbank stealing £1000 worth of chocolate bars and fizzy drinks

Boxes of chocolate bars and shampoo bottles were among the stock stolen from the premises in Margate.

A popular foodbank has had £1,000 worth of stock stolen in a burglary, with boxes of chocolate bars, fizzy drinks and shampoo among the items taken. 

Thieves are thought to have forced entry to the premises in Margate, Kent, at around 7am on Tuesday, 30 August. 

It is the third time the community shop run by Margate Independent Foodbank has been targeted, since they opened in June 2021. 

In the two previous incidents the criminals left empty handed. However, this time they were able to break into the stock room, which staff say was ransacked.

Several boxes of Mars bars, trays containing cans of fizzy drinks, and multiple bottles of TRESemmé shampoo were all stolen, according to shop staff. 

Volunteers at the shop have been busy clearing up the mess left by the thieves so that they can reopen for customers.

The shop on Duke Street provides heavily discounted groceries and household products to those on benefits or low incomes. They currently have around 1,400 members.

Director John Finnegan said the burglary was “sickening” and left him asking: “Is it worth carrying on?”

“Why on earth would someone steal from a shop trying to help the community? If people are desperate and need help they can let us know and we’ll do our best to help,” he added.

The community interest company that runs the service is appealing for the public’s help to replace the stock by donating goods or cash. 

The shop already had CCTV cameras installed after the previous attempted burglaries, and staff say they are looking at further security measures or moving to new premises. 

Shop staff say trays of Mars bars, cans of fizzy drink and shampoo bottles were stolen in the break in.

Chief Inspector Ian Swallow said: "Kent Police was contacted at 9am on Tuesday, 30 August, and it was reported that, between 7am and 8am that morning, an organisation in Duke Street, Margate had been broken into and a number of food and drink items stolen.

"Officers have since attended and an investigation is under way, including door-to-door enquiries, a review of local CCTV and speaking to potential witnesses.

"We understand that burglary is very distressing for victims, and this offence is aggravated by having been carried out against an organisation working to help the local community.

"I urge anyone who saw anything suspicious in the Duke Street area on Tuesday morning, or who has any information which may assist our investigation, to contact Kent Police on 01843 222289, quoting reference 46/169804/22."

The foodbank is currently searching for potential new premises for the community shop, which they hope would make it more secure.