Gosport charity shop targeted by criminals for the second time in four months

TWO people caved in the roof of a Gosport charity centre last night, as the building was targeted for the second time this year.

Friday, 5th July 2019, 12:21 pm
Updated Friday, 5th July 2019, 6:19 pm

Stuart Pottinger, the CEO of Jacob’s Well Care Centre in Toronto Place, fears his charity has been earmarked by criminals after being broken into again.

It comes after a gang of youths terrorised staff in March, storming the premises armed with crowbars.

Although nothing appears to have been taken from the shop, Mr Pottinger believes that thieves could well return in the future.

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Criminals broke into Jacob's Well Care Centre in Gosport last night, by caving in the roof of the building. Picture: Lorraine Pottinger

He said: ‘I think we are being targeted by criminals.

‘The problem is that they know they can get in, and they think they can get away with it.

‘Whoever it was knew exactly what they were doing.’

Jacob’s Well is in the process of getting a new roof installed – but it is believed the intruders entered the building by climbing on the scaffolding.

Lorraine and Stuart Pottinger outside Jacob's Well Care Centre in Toronto Place in Gosport. Picture: Ben Fishwick

However, Mr Pottinger believes they may have injured themselves as they fell through the roof.

‘It looks like they fell through into the office, so they may well have hurt themselves,’ he said.

‘To be honest I rather hope they did.

‘It looks like they clawed at the wall, either on their way in or out of the building.’

As well as the attack in March, the charity shop was burgled in June last year.

As the clean-up job begins, Mr Pottinger and the rest of the charity's team is hoping to simply return to normality.

He said: ‘We’re absolutely gutted about what’s happened.

‘At the moment we’re just trying to work out if there’s any other damage to the building, and clean it all up so we can continue serving the community.

‘We don’t even know if we’ll get an insurance payout – so this is quite a stressful time for us.

‘It feels like the best thing we can do is try to move on.’

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call 101, quoting the crime reference number 44190232337.