Staff at the Galway Simon Community were left devastated when they opened their shop and office following the bank holiday weekend to find that burglars had trashed the premises, stolen expensive laptops and even run off with a safe containing charity funds destined for the homeless.
CEO of Galway Simon Community, Marlene O’Connor, told Galway First that the burglars had broken down the front door of the office at Montpellier Terrace between 8pm and 10pm on Monday, October 27. “They stole some cash from the petty cash, a laptop, and threw some stuff around the office. That stuff included a set of spare keys which then allowed them into the shop where they stole another laptop, and the safe,” she said.
Regarding the contents of the safe, Ms O’Connor would not be drawn on the amount of cash now lost, as it could interfere with the Garda investigation, but did say that “it was significant” to the charity.
“Tuesday was a wretched day. I got the call at 8am, was down in the shop by 8.15am and then realised that the office had been broken into too. We spent the day cleaning and tidying. Locks had to be changed and the electrics in the office had been damaged. The two laptops didn’t come cheap either. All these costs are knock on effects.
“It’s absolutely rotten for these people to break in to a homeless charity six to eight weeks before Christmas. The shop is a valuable source of income. It’s disheartening to the volunteers that work in the shop for people to break in and do that. We regard ourselves as a community based service which is there for local people but they [the burglars] didn’t think about that,” said Ms O’Connor.
The incident is now under investigation and Galway Simon Community are appealing for anyone who may have seen or heard anything suspicious in the Crescent or Sea Road area between 8pm and 10pm last Monday to contact gardaí.