Thieves steal charity money from Bury pub

CCTV footage of the burglary at the Swan and Cemetery

Kieron Johnson at the scene of the break-in at the Swan and Cemetery

First published in News This Is Lancashire: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

POLICE are hunting burglars who stole nearly £5,000 — including charity money — from a Bury pub.

The Swan and Cemetery in Manchester Road was broken into between 8.15pm and 8.40pm on Saturday.

One of the offenders used a crowbar to get into the pub through the upstairs window, while staff and customers were downstairs, before stealing the money from a cash box in the pub’s office.

The cashbox contained nearly £1,000 for Bury Hospice, which was raised by sales of a Calendar Girls-style calendar featuring staff members.

Also in the box was a month’s worth of tips for bar staff and money towards the maintenance of the pub.

The pub has put up a £1,000 reward for anyone with information relating to the burglary, leading to a conviction.

Mr Kieron Johnson, who has run the pub for the last three-and-a-half years, said: “This is upsetting — really, really upsetting.

“The girls have gone to all that effort to raise money for a good cause and then someone goes and does this. We are all absolutely devastated.

“Not only that, the girls have lost their tips for the month — they are really hard working and now their money has gone.

“This is such a nice, friendly pub and when something like this happens it leaves a sour taste in your mouth.”

Andrew Kershaw, the pub’s office manager, added: “I just cannot understand why someone would do this.

“It’s not fair on other people and it’s not fair on the staff.

“I’m so disappointed that all that hard work was for nothing. If anybody can help us find those responsible, please get in touch.”

CCTV footage shows one of the burglars attempting to break in through the back of the pub, opposite the car park.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said: “The theft was reported to us at 10.36am on Sunday. A man has climbed up the pub’s fire escape and unsuccessfully tried to open the fire door with a crowbar. He has then climbed up onto the roof and removed the bars from the upstairs window with a crowbar.

“No arrests have been made and investigations are ongoing.”

The Swan and Cemetery won four awards last year, including Lancashire-based brewer Thwaites’ Pubs in Bloom competition.

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