‘Why would someone do this?’: thieves target RDA charity shop

  • Thieves left a “trail of destruction” when they broke into a Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) charity shop and stole goods worth over £1,500.

    The Cotswold RDA group’s shop at Tewkesbury High Street was targeted in the early hours of Thursday morning (27 January).

    Cotswold RDA general manager Lesley Gorton told H&H thieves broke in through the shop’s glass front door.

    “All our show jackets were stolen, along with casual riding and hunting jackets and we had a big beautiful silver ceramic horse-head display that’s been left in a nasty mess. They’ve left a trail of destruction.”

    The charity’s first standalone shop in the UK only opened in December. The group also has a charity shop situated within the Midcounties Co-Op store in Longleven.

    “It feels like having your home broken into, we’ve put so much passion into the shop,” said Lesley.

    “You think, why would someone do this to a charity that helps disabled children and adults?”.

    The group has had a difficult couple of weeks. One of its riding ponies, Chester, was injured in a field accident on 17 January resulting in the removal of his eye. Lesley told H&H the gelding has been making progress and has now had his dressing removed.

    “The support we have had for Chester and since the shop was broken has been incredibly uplifting. We’ve had influential people from the racing world make donations and even children who ride with us donating their pocket money,” said Lesley.

    “It’s made us realise just how loved our work is.”

    Anyone who wishes to donate to the shop’s fundraiser, or Chester’s appeal can do so via the group’s Facebook page or website.

    A Gloucestershire Constabulary spokesman told H&H police were called to a report of a break in at 4.30am on 27 January. 

    “Police attended and arrested two men and a woman in connection with the incident. All three were arrested on suspicion of burglary offences,” said the spokesman.

    “The men, one in his 30s from Cheltenham and the other in his 20s from Gloucester, have since been released under investigation. The woman, in her 20s, has also been released under investigation.”

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