Shopworkers left picking up the pieces following burglaries in Waterlooville

ANGRY Trustee Tony Raper in The Cat Rescue charity shop in Wellington Way, Waterlooville, which was the target of a break-in. Picture: Mick Young (122727-04)

ANGRY Trustee Tony Raper in The Cat Rescue charity shop in Wellington Way, Waterlooville, which was the target of a break-in. Picture: Mick Young (122727-04)

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CHARITIES say they are devastated after thieves broke in and stole almost £1,200 in takings.

As Soon as Possible (ASAP) cat rescue and the Sue Ryder cancer shop, both in Wellington Way, Waterlooville, were targeted by thieves who broke in from the roofs.

At ASAP £1,000 was taken from the safe.

Even the hard drive from the 24- hour rolling CCTV – which would have identified the culprits – was stolen.

And at Sue Ryder a day’s takings were stolen along with sponsorship money from an event one of the volunteers was taking part in.

Brenda Smith, the chairman of ASAP, said: ‘We are totally devastated.

‘We’re gutted that someone could do something like this to us.

‘They have taken quite a substantial amount of money which will have a big impact on us.

‘We’re insured but even if we get that money back it will affect our insurance premiums so we will suffer.

‘We’re a very small charity and have to work extremely hard for the money we get.

‘The money goes directly towards rescuing cats in the area and paying vets’ bills.

‘I think the people responsible for this are despicable.’

At Sue Ryder, the crooks made off with £180 of takings from the safe, as well as a necklace that had been donated to the charity by volunteer Zandra Snelling.

The pensioner was the first to walk in on the ransacked shop on Thursday morning and was very shaken by the experience.

The burglars made off with £15 of sponsorship money that was in an envelope in the safe.

The money had been raised by shop manager Russell Samson, who took part in a charity cycle ride on the Isle of Wight.

The criminals pulled out the cash and left the sponsorship forms strewn across the floor.

Sharon Barker, assistant manager, said: ‘It’s the fact they could see what it was. It’s just the total disrespect, that’s the horrible thing. All these volunteers come in and give up their time.

‘We all work very hard as a team.

‘I think it’s disgusting that these people come in and do this – that’s a day’s work by the volunteers they have taken.’

Mrs Snelling wanted to thank the window cleaner, Colin Earle, who came to her aid when she walked in on the burgled shop and called the police.

‘I am just so grateful to him,’ she said. ‘He was absolutely fantastic,’

Police are investigating the break-ins, which happened some time between 5pm on Wednesday and 8am on Thursday.

A forensic investigation has taken place of the shops.

No arrests have been made yet.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Waterlooville police station by phoning 101.

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