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Gifts for sick hospital children are stolen by heartless thieves

'The toys had been donated from our supporters and out of the kindness of people’s hearts'

04 December, 2016 — By Alina Polianskaya

Santa – in the missing suit – at a previous present-giving Christmas event

MORE than £35,000 of donations have flooded in after heartless crooks stole £3,000 worth of gifts for sick children in hospital – and Santa’s suit.

The COSMIC (Children of St Mary’s Intensive Care) charity launched an appeal to replace what was taken from a store in Paddington.

Fundraising executive Emily Hughes charity, said: “I can’t quite believe it. We have had some very generous anonymous donations. People have just come in with a cheque for several thousand pounds.”

Ms Hughes said the toys and goodies had been kept in a storeroom at the hospital in Praed Street, ready to be handed out to the children at a party later this month. But police were told that some time between October 3 and November 17 the storeroom was broken into and the presents taken.

Ms Hughes said the news of the theft had been “incredibly sad”, adding: “The toys had been donated from our supporters and out of the kindness of people’s hearts, so the thought that we weren’t going to be able to provide them for our parties and events in December was incredibly troubling.”

As well as plenty of individual contributions, they had some “very large” donations from companies, including Zendesk in Paddington: “They offered to rebuy our Santa suit that was taken and are organising a wrapping party,” Ms Hughes said.

Detective Sergeant Tom Hirst, from Westminster CID, said: “This is an awful crime at this time of year and hard to imagine what kind of person would steal gifts so clearly destined for sick children to make their lives a little brighter this festive season.”

To donate, visit: Virginmoneygiving.com/fund/COSMICCharity_Christmas_appeal

Anyone with information about the theft is asked to call police in Westminster via 101. To give information anonymously contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit crimestoppers-uk.org

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