Trowbridge charity shops targeted by burglars

Age UK sales assistant Caroline Dutch shows some of the damage caused during the break-in

The Age UK shop in Fore Street, Trowbridge, which was targeted by thieves

The British Heart Foundation shop in Fore Street, Trowbridge, which was targeted by thieves

First published in Trowbridge
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Two charity shops in Trowbridge have been targeted by thieves, who got in through a third-floor window of one and then smashed a hole in the roof of another.

The Fore Street stores were both broken into on Tuesday night by intruders who caused over £1,000 worth of damage, but only made off with petty cash.

Raiders used an angle grinder to break into a third-storey window at the British Heart Foundation store, kicking in the office door and emptying the safe.

Store manager James Chilton said: “They only took the money which was in the safe, which was about £100, but they caused around £1,000 worth of damage.

"They kicked in the office door, which needs replacing with new frames, and the safe needs replacing.

“It’s just annoying more than anything else, it makes the volunteers feel vulnerable.

"We are a hub of the community and we open our doors to everyone, we are here for the people of Trowbridge.

“I don’t think anyone’s angry, just disappointed.”

After targeting the first store they smashed a hole in the roof of the Age UK shop, before piling a chair on a table and breaking out through a second hole.

Sales assistant Caroline Dutch discovered the damage on Wednesday morning.

She said: “They have come through the roof which is three storeys high, straight on to the top.

“They went into the office and made a nice mess, but they weren’t able to get anything.

“They took a window frame off and tried to get out the window, but that was a sheer drop to get down. They made a lot of mess but got away with nothing.

“It’s still unnerving being back here; for all they knew this could have been a flat with someone inside.

“There are no words to describe them, they are absolutely the lowest of the low.”

It is hoped CCTV cameras in the alleyway behind the stores may reveal some clues as to the thieves’ identity.

Anyone with information can contact Wiltshire Police on 101.

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