Thieves target charity concert takings

Music School founder John Shaw with the safe from where �200 was stolen following a recent concert.
Music School founder John Shaw with the safe from where �200 was stolen following a recent concert.
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A CALLOUS thief has stolen cash from a charity safe.

Police are looking into the theft, where £200 from a fund-raising concert was stolen from a locked safe at Blackpool Music Academy.

The money was to be spent on new music books for students and was greatly needed to pay some of the academy’s bills.

The academy’s founder John Shaw, has branded the thief as a “low life”.

“We are absolutely gutted. This has brought the rug out from under us,” he said.

“You don’t think anyone could steal from a charity. It’s distressing.”

The money was raised last Thursday night at a concert which was to help save the academy as it is struggling to make some of its payments.

The cash was put into the safe, for which there is only one key, and left over the weekend.

Mr Shaw, 64, said the key was hidden within the academy’s building, on Waterloo Road.

It was found inside the open safe on Tuesday.

He said: “Obviously someone was watching where we put the key, then they’ve gone in and taken the money.”

Mr Shaw, of Waterloo Road, said the academy, which caters for students from the age of eight to 103, was having money difficulties after losing out on a grant a few months ago.

The concert, which was held at the Martin Institute near to the academy, was put on as a fund-raising event.

He said: “Blackpool Music Academy is a community music school.

“The person who has stolen this money has stolen from themselves.

“To do something like this is really low life and now we’re really, really stuck. £200 doesn’t sound like a lot of money, but when you haven’t got money, it is a lot.”

He said from now on, only one person would have a key and they would keep hold of it at all times.

Lancashire Police has confirmed officers are looking into the theft.

Mr Shaw is appealing for donations of musical instruments, which can either be sold in the academy’s charity shop, or passed on to students who are unable to afford their own instruments.

“Christmas is coming up, and to turn instruments into money would be fantastic,” he added.

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