Animal charity store becomes at least the seventh Duston village shop to be raided in the past year

Volunteer Wendy Lavaast outside the RSPCA store in Main Road, Duston, which has been hit by another break-in.
Volunteer Wendy Lavaast outside the RSPCA store in Main Road, Duston, which has been hit by another break-in.

Mindless burglars are making life misery for a row of shops in Duston following a series of break-ins, but no one really knows why.

The latest, a burglary at the RSPCA branch shop in Main Road Duston overnight on Wednesday, saw less than £100 taken from the till, but more than £200 of damage done to the outer doors. Raiders used a crowbar to break their way in through front door.

Main Road in Duston is a break-in hotspot.

Main Road in Duston is a break-in hotspot.

It marks what shopkeepers say is at least the seventh break-in, or attempted raid, along a 100-metre stretch in the past year.

Two charity shops have been hit, the village bakery, the nearby Co-op and even the Duston Cobbler in the past 12 months.

But on each occasion, barely anything was taken despite the costly damage caused.

When burglars hit the Extra Care charity shop they took nothing, but during their ransack, one of the raiders actually dropped a fiver.

A robber attempted to drive into the Co-op supermarket in Duston on his motorbike.

A robber attempted to drive into the Co-op supermarket in Duston on his motorbike.

On another, a moped rider tried to drive his way into the Co-op before being chased out by a member of staff.

But the raids have left the shopkeepers puzzled.

Adrian Walsh, 31, of Duston Cobbler, said: "I don't get what they are thinking.

"They are going to get nothing from these shops.

"Our shop is full of keys that are useful to no one else but us."

The latest burglary on Wednesday night at the RSPCA shop has left volunteers there frustrated.

Branch manager for the store Tara Aliston, said: "Any money we have to spend on repairs is money we can't spend on animals.

"It is just really sad that someone would target a charity shop knowing the stock isn't worth very much.

"It's money we would normally spend on rehoming animals."

A staff member at the Duston Village Bakery, broken into last year for a couple of personal belongings, said the loss of the "village feel" in Duston was partly to blame.

"It's frustrating obviously I think the area has changed, it used to have a village feel," she said.

"I think the area has changed it doesn't have as much of a village feel anymore.

"I guess with expansion, you get more crime."

If you have any information about the break-in at the RSPCA shop in Main Road, Duston, overnight between Wednesday and Thursday, call police on 101.