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£1,600 stolen from salon’s charity day
A DAY of charity fundraising at an Old Town hair salon ended in disaster after thieves broke in and stole all the money that had been collected.
The owners of What Women Want, in Victoria Road, had raised more than £1,500 during a 24-hour hair-cutting session on Sunday.
They left for several hours to rest and get ready for continuing the event on Monday but returned to find thieves had smashed their way into the shop and taken £1,600.
Owners Hayley Whatton, 35, and Emmarella Passaro, 40, were going to split the money between Breakthrough Breast Cancer and Prostate Cancer UK.
Hayley discovered what had happened early yesterday.
She said: “When I first saw it I couldn’t believe it. It’s something you think won’t ever happen to you.
“I was really upset at first but as I think about it I’m getting more and more angry. They didn’t touch anything else in the salon and just went for the money.
“They must have been watching us because they seemed to know exactly where to go.
“A lot of people generously donated and gave up a lot of time, only to have it all stolen.”
The pair started the charity event at noon on Sunday and were busy through the day and night, with live music.
They stayed open until about 2am when it calmed down so they decided to go home for a couple of hours to rest.
They put all the money they had raised, which was close to £1,600, in a secure tin and put it in the back of the shop.
The women came back at around 6am to start up again, but found the front door had been broken and the money tin missing, along with two charity boxes.
“It had been such a successful day and so many people had given up their time,” said Hayley.
“For a business the size of ours it was a good amount to raise and we were both very proud.
“It’s absolutely heartbreaking to think of all that effort going to waste because someone just wanted to take the money.”
The two women had personal reasons for wanting to raise money for both the charities. Emma’s mother died from cancer and her sister needed an operation which saved her life. Hayley has also had a cancer scare.
“The only thing that we need to do is fix the door and we can come back into work and open up as normal,” said Hayley.
“It’s not us they have taken from but the charities.
“We’re determined that once everything is sorted we are going to hold another charity event and raise even more money.”
A spokesman for Wiltshire Police said: “This is a distressing incident as the salon owners were up all night fundraising only to see their hard work ruined by someone stealing the money.
“We would appeal for anyone in the Victoria Road area between 2.45am and 6.30am on Monday, December 2, and who might have seen anything to call us.”
Call Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 anonymously.
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