A TROWBRIDGE charity is counting the cost of increased security measures, after suffering two break-ins in the last week, the latest in a spate of thefts.
Thieves have taken cash, tools and raffle prizes over the last five months from The Hope Nature Centre on Frome Road, which now faces a four-figure bill to install CCTV.
The centre, which provides work and training for young people with learning difficulties, was broken into on Sunday and Mon-day night.
Based in the Southwick Country Park, it has a popular cafe and small animal centre. In September, one of a pair of tortoises was stolen from its pen.
Former Trowbridge mayor and centre chairman Tom James said: “They returned in October and took a ride-on mower and petrol strimmer worth thousands of pounds.
“On Sunday night they took alcohol and other items donated to us for a raffle from the security office; they came back the next night and completely ripped the door off.”
The centre is now looking to take out a bank loan to pay for CCTV, which it hopes it can pay back through grants.
Mr James said: “I’ve had various quotes, from £4,000 to £15,000, and we haven’t got the money left in the bank.
“We have planning permission for a couple of extensions, but every time something like this happens it knocks it back.
“We need to make the site more secure, and money that should be going on more play equipment and investment in the park is being spent on this.”
Inspector Lisette Harvey said: “I am working with CID to consider other options to prevent this happening again in the hope we catch the offenders. The Neighbourhood Policing Team is offering reassurance and contact with those that go to the premises.”
If you know anything, call PC Mark Hough on 101.