Staff’s charity gesture after raid nightmare

Carol Elbourne of Elbourne Tea Emporium, St Annes
Carol Elbourne of Elbourne Tea Emporium, St Annes

Workers at a tea room which was the target of a smash and grab raid will donate their tips to charity to replace stolen donations.

An RNLI box and the cash drawer were swiped in the early-hours raid at Elbourne’s Tea Rooms in Park Road, St Annes.

Owner Carol Elbourne has been left with the cost of cleaning up and lost a day’s takings as a result of the raid which will have netted the burglar just a few pounds.

She was in bed in the upstairs flat at the tea rooms when the front door was smashed with a brick in the early hours of Tuesday.

Carol, 40, said: “My boyfriend woke up and thought he heard a noise but we thought nothing of it.

“We came down in the morning and didn’t really see anything odd.

“Then I noticed there was a brick on one of the tables. It was then I noticed the glass panel of the door was smashed, the till drawer missing.

“I leave the till open at night to show there was nothing in it.

“There were a few coppers.

“They’ve also taken an RNLI charity tin which we’ve not had long so won’t have had much inside.

“All this damage has been caused for just a few pounds.”

The shop remained closed on Wednesday as the damaged door was replaced.

And when it re-opens today staff have vowed to replace the charity cash taken.

Carol said: “The girls have said they will donate all their tips this week to the RNLI.

“They have already lost the chance to earn while we have been closed so it is a lovely gesture.”

The tea shop owner, who has been trading in St Annes for two-years, cannot understand how anybody would want to take cash donated to a good cause.

She said: “Who would take a charity box?

“They clearly just wanted cash because nothing else has been taken, nothing has been disturbed.

“A charity has lost out and we’ve had the inconvenience and cost of repairing the damage and staying shut.

“I’ve had to go out and borrow a replacement till because they’ve left me without a cash drawer.”

It is not clear when the raid took place but Carol believes something her boyfriend heard may provide a clue.

She said: “When he woke up he heard a bin lorry going by.

“Apparently there were a couple around 5.30am so we now think that is when this happened.

“If anyone was about at that time they might have seen something.”

Anyone with information should call 101 quoting crime reference WA1700089