Home   Herne Bay   News   Article

Hunt for ‘book ripper’ tearing up dozens of Herne Bay Demelza charity shop novels

By Jack Dyson

A mystery vandal has been tearing up dozens of books at a charity shop.

As many as 15 paperbacks a week have had their pages ripped in half at the Demelza store in Mortimer Street, Herne Bay.

The callous bibliophobe - dubbed "the book ripper" by customers - has been targetting sections out of sight from staff since April.

Demelza store manager Nick Rogers (13244657)
Demelza store manager Nick Rogers (13244657)

Store manager Nick Rogers says the slippery perpetrator tears the pages horizontally before putting them back on the shelf.

“We initially had the odd book getting torn, which we dismissed as being children or someone trying to prank us,” he said.

“But in the last couple of months, we’ve been finding about 10 or 15 a week. They can be worth anything up to £3.

“We wouldn’t sell a book with one ripped page, but in some of them it’s all the pages.

“It seems to be right round the corner where we can’t see them – in the true crime, sport, travel and miscellaneous sections.”

Store manager Nick Rogers says books in the true crime, sport, travel and miscellaneous sections are being targeted
Store manager Nick Rogers says books in the true crime, sport, travel and miscellaneous sections are being targeted

The store’s proceeds are donated to Demelza Hospice Care for Children, a charity that cares for youngsters battling serious or terminal illnesses.

Shop workers have erected signs to try to deter the sneaky saboteur - but so far this has been ineffective.

“So far, though we haven’t caught anyone,” he said.

“I’ve put signs up and we’re making our presence known. Other than that, though, we’re not really sure what we can do.

“It’s really sad and disappointing because we’re totally reliant on people donating them in good faith to raise funds – to then have someone destroy them seems so senseless.”

The Demelza Bookshop in Mortimer Street, Herne Bay
The Demelza Bookshop in Mortimer Street, Herne Bay

A number of books at Herne Bay Library in the High Street have also been damaged over the last six months.

Staff members have not identified a pattern to the vandalism as the defaced paperbacks have been from a variety of sections.

A Kent County Council spokesman said: “The damage to books at Herne Bay Library is obviously disappointing.

“However, we do not consider 20 books over six months to be an epidemic and not comparable to the situation at the Demelza charity shop.

“Members of staff are now being extra watchful to try to catch the person responsible or at least cut down on the opportunities to cause more damage.”

Read more: All the latest news from Herne Bay

Join the debate...
Comments |

Don't have an account? Please Register first!

The KM Group does not moderate comments. Please click here for our house rules.

People who post abusive comments about other users or those featured in articles will be banned.

Thank you. Your comment has been received and will appear on the site shortly.

 

Terms of Comments
We do not actively moderate, monitor or edit contributions to the reader comments but we may intervene and take such action as we think necessary, please click here for our house rules. If you have any concerns over the contents on our site, please either register those concerns using the report abuse button, contact us here, email multimediadesk@thekmgroup.co.uk or call 01634 227989.

Follow us

Like Us on Facebook

Most popular

Kent Travel News

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More