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Heartless thieves take charity boxes from St Helen Auckland veterinary surgery
HEARTLESS thieves who broke into a veterinary surgery and stole two charity boxes are being hunted.
A window at the Castle Vets branch in Maude Terrace, St Helen Auckland, was removed and smashed sometime overnight between Monday and Tuesday.
Staff turned up for work yesterday morning to discover the damage – and the missing charity collection boxes.
Receptionist Sue Lamb said: “We have got the uPVC double glazing. One of the panes had been taken out and it was smashed to smithereens.”
A Great Ormond Street collection box and sweets were taken along with another box for Marie Curie Cancer Care.
Mrs Lamb said the windows at the surgery were partly frosted, which meant passers-by could not see inside.
“It is a sickening thing to take the charity money,” she said.
“I would have thought it must be someone who has been in and seen them unless they were looking for something else and they just grabbed the boxes.”
Box charity collection boxes were sealed, so it is not known how much money was stolen in the raid.
Appealing for witnesses, Inspector Martin Peace, of Bishop Auckland Police, said it appeared the thieves had reached inside through the window rather than entering the premises.
Although the alarm was in proper working order, it was not activated.
Mrs Lamb said although an emergency glazer had replaced the broken window, the break-in had caused some disruption.
The branch operates as a companion animals surgery of Castle Vets in Barnard Castle, with two nurses and two vets catering for a variety of small animals, mainly cats and dogs.
“We had to delay an operation on a black Labrador for three-quarters of an hour. That has now been done and it's business as usual,” added Mrs Lamb.
Anyone with information about the break-in should contact Bishop Auckland CID on 101.