Outrage over break-in at Sheffield animal charity prompts flood of donations

Damage caused during the break-in at Sheffield RSPCA's Animal Centre
Damage caused during the break-in at Sheffield RSPCA's Animal Centre
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The manager of an animal charity where a callous thief caused hundreds of pounds worth of damage says the public response has been 'overwhelming'.

The intruder was caught on CCTV breaking into Sheffield RSPCA’s Animal Centre in Attercliffe on Sunday evening and helping himself to cash from a collection box.

A CCTV image from the break-in at Sheffield RSPCA's Animal Centre

A CCTV image from the break-in at Sheffield RSPCA's Animal Centre

He caused an estimated £1,400 of damage to windows and doors at the premises in Stadium Way, for the sake of around £30 which was all that was in the box.

Although the charity is insured it is now having to shell out to cover the excess and to strengthen security.

As well as appealing for information to help catch the thief, the charity asked for donations towards repairs.

Tony Benham, Sheffield RSPCA’s general manager, told how he was 'disgusted' that someone could do such a thing.

But he declared himself delighted with the response, after receiving more than £1,000 in a few days.

“The response has been overwhelming. It’s restored our faith in the local community,” he added.

He also said a couple of people had been in touch saying they thought they recognised the thief, and the details had been passed to police who are investigating.

The culprit is believed to have turned up a couple of weeks before, asking to use the toilets, and staff kindly let him in - unaware he was casing the joint.

During the break-in, he said CCTV footage showed the thief rifling through drawers and ignoring a £200 tablet, which has since been removed, before taking the charity box.

Sheffield RSPCA cares for around 1,000 animals a year and although it is a branch of the national charity it must fund its own running costs, of about £2,600 a day.

No animals or staff were harmed during the break-in but the charity has paid to put extra staff on each evening for their protection.

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101.

You can donate at the RSPCA Sheffield Branch JustGiving page.