Police have vowed to tackle metal thefts after thousands of pounds of damage was caused to a Sheffield charity.
Burglars stole metal water pipes at Ben’s Centre, Orange Street, off West Street in the city centre.
The centre, which supports Sheffield’s street drinkers, suffered severe damage after water gushed from the floor above – bringing down ceilings and destroying equipment and supplies.
Chief Inspector Andy Kent, responsible for the police response to metal theft in South Yorkshire, said: “Metal theft is not a victimless crime. It can and does affect the whole community, as sadly it has in this case.
“That is why it is so important for police and partner organisations to work together with local communities, businesses and legitimate scrap dealers to tackle this type of crime.”
Sue Smith, Ben’s Centre manager, said: “The pipes were ripped out between Christmas Eve and January 4, meaning water could have been running all that time.
“Those who did this would not have thought about the consequences of their actions, I suppose.
“For the few pounds they would have got for selling the pipes, they have caused all this devastation.”
n Anyone with information regarding metal theft is asked to call South Yorkshire Police on 101.