STEALING from charity shops is the lowest of the low and pinching from a cancer charity puts it beyond the pale.

Especially when you consider the amount of people locally who have lost loved ones to cancer and passionately raise money in their memory for charities.

While the theft of two paintings isn’t on the same scale as the Mona Lisa being swiped from the Louvre, there is something hopelessly meanspirited about stealing art from charitable causes.

The chances are that at one time, the paintings will have had a sentimental value to someone, but have been donated in the hope of helping out a good cause.

Many volunteers give up hours and hours of their own time helping and serving in charity shops for no pay, reward or thanks.

They do so as a selfless act to help someone worse off than themselves.

They won’t necessarily expect to have to be on the lookout for cynical shoplifters trying to exploit a soft touch.

Cllr Helen Wall is bang on to say that Barrow is better than this.

We hope all of our charity shops are on alert and the police keep their ears to the ground.

Even better, would be if the offender comes forward to put this right by returning the items without delay.