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Thieves damage Worthing charity centre in break-in bid
11:00am Friday 30th August 2013 in News
Thieves caused more than £1,000 damage after breaking into a distribution centre used as a base for hospice charity shops.
Stock at the centre is sorted and sent out to more than 20 shops across Sussex in aid of St Barnabas House Hospice in Worthing and the Chestnut Tree House children's hospice near Arundel.
The break-in at the centre in Broadwater, Worthing, was discovered after staff returned after the bank holiday weekend.
Thieves stole the engine out of one of the charity's vans, which was parked in a compound behind the building.
The culprits managed to get over the fence, take the front of the van apart and lift the engine back over the fence.
They also smashed the security lights and damaged the wall.
Hospice head of retail Colin Wakefield said: “I am appalled that anyone would target a charity.
“This is the second time this vehicle has been vandalised.
“We were going to repair it but as the cost of replacing the engine and repairing the latest damage will be over £1,000, we just cannot afford it and will probably end up having to write it off.
“Instead, we will have to spend money on improving our security measures in order to try and prevent this happening again.
“This theft comes at a difficult time for us. Due to the economic climate, our stock levels are quite low at the moment and we are also struggling to find volunteers to help in the distribution centre.
“This is just an added blow.”
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