A VALUABLE set of The Lord of the Rings worth more than £1,400 has been stolen from a charity shop in Worcester.

A three-volume set containing the three works by J.R.R Tolkien was taken from a locked display cabinet in the St Richard's Hospice shop in St Swithin's Street.

The theft took place on December 19 at around 12.30pm, leaving staff saddened. 

Dan Corns, commercial director at St Richard's, said: "We are saddened by the theft of these beautiful, valuable books.

"The volumes were on sale as a set for £1,495, reflecting the quality of the editions.

"The perfect addition for any collector or Tolkien enthusiast, they could also have raised a substantial amount towards our hospice care.

"For this to happen less than a week before Christmas, and during a difficult time for all in the charity sector, is especially upsetting.

"We appeal for anyone with information to contact the police, and hope the books can be returned to us.”

The set was on sale for £1,495 and the hardback books feature first-edition text from 1954, though they were all published in 1957.

They are all first editions, but are not first printings.

Each volume has a map of Middle Earth attached to its back cover.

The books are in good condition, with some wear and tear to the dust jackets.

The copy of The Fellowship of the Ring includes an inscription on the inside cover which reads: "To F.W. Patterson. On his retirement 1980."

Anyone with any information is asked to call 101 and quote crime reference number 22/114107/21.

Each year, St Richard's Hospice supports more than 2,900 patients, family members and bereaved people in Worcestershire.

It costs £8.75m to run the hospice (20/21 audited accounts), which includes patient care and all the necessary support services.

St Richard’s is an independent charity and relies on donations and gifts in Wills for the majority of its income with the remainder funded by the NHS.

For more information about St Richard’s Hospice, visit www.strichards.org.uk