HEARTLESS thieves who broke into a Bromsgrove bathroom showroom escaped with hundreds of pounds worth of sports clothing from the Harry Bennett (HB9) Foundation.
The burglars struck at Bennetts Bathrooms on Sherwood Road, Aston Fields, overnight between last Friday and Saturday, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage as they smashed through the front door and ripped out alarms.
While there, they took 20 to 30 garments from the HB9 Foundation which are stored upstairs in the premises and retail at £20 each – some of them would have been sold to raise funds for the charity while others would have been given to local children and young people to enable them to play sport. The thieves also fled with a cash box containing the shop’s £60 float.
The HB9 Foundation was set up in memory of Harry Bennett who died suddenly at the age of 16 after a short illness in January 2020.
Harry studied at South Bromsgrove High School and was keen sportsman, playing rugby for Kings Norton Rugby Club, football for Meadow Park FC and cricket as well.
Epitomising Harry’s love of sport, HB9 provides clothing and equipment for children and young people who may not otherwise be able to take part in sport due to the financial barriers.
Bennetts Bathrooms was also left counting the cost as it had to shut on Saturday – one of its busiest trading days – and Monday to sort out the damage.
The owners of Bennetts think their premises was not the intended target as the thieves cut through the wall to steal the safe from the Greggs nextdoor.
Andy Bennett, Harry’s dad, the businesses owner and HB9 founder, said: “We are a small charity and this money would have gone into local grassroots sport.
“This was opportunist thieves trying to get the Greggs safe and we have unfortunately been caught up in it.
“The way they cut through the wall, they knew exactly what they wanted and I’ve no idea how they would have moved the safe which would have been big and heavy.
“Most people pay by card these days so I’m not sure how much they would have got from Greggs – it seems a lot of effort.”
West Mercia Police is investigating and confirmed it was called to two burglaries at the premises on Sherwood Road on Saturday.
A spokesperson told the Standard: “Offenders broke into one of the premises and cut a hole in to the wall causing substantial damage to gain access to the joining premises.”
He added the safe was stolen from the neighbouring premises and said investigations were ongoing.
Witnesses or anyone with information should report it at westmercia.police.uk/ro/report/ or call police on 101.
Alternatively, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
The Standard has contacted Greggs and is awaiting a response.