HEARTLESS thieves have targeted an Aldershot charity shop as an opportunity for rich pickings.

In the last nine months the Phyllis Tuckwell in Union Street has had over £300 of stock stolen.

Store manager Maureen Lyons fumed: “I am very angry.

“People give us these donations and we sell them to help people that are very, very ill and dying.”

Mrs Lyons, who has worked at the shop for two and a half years, said that the theft problem has become much worse in the last nine months.

During that time she said everything from charity boxes and trousers to a man’s dinner suit and records and CDs had been stolen.

However, the thefts reached a new level a fortnight ago when a painting priced at £50 was stolen.

Described as a 12ins by 18ins pastel of a woman on a bed with a sheet draped across her, Mrs Lyons said that on the back of the picture someone had written: “Goodnight and sweet dreams, Trim.”

Pointing to where the picture had hung — 7ft off the ground — she took two empty coat hangers off the clothes rail.

“That’s two things that have gone today,” she said.

Pointing to a display of glasses in the window, Mrs Lyons said there had been a bottle of champagne with them, but that someone had stolen that too.

Pc Hurst at Aldershot would like to hear from anyone who knows where this painting is. Call Hampshire Police on 0845 0454545.