'Disgust' as thieves break into South Yorkshire charity shop, leaving a trail of blood

Thieves who raided a charity shop in South Yorkshire, leaving a trail of blood, have been condemned by the 'disgusted' store manager.

Saturday, 6th January 2018, 9:18 am
Updated Saturday, 6th January 2018, 9:20 am
These photos show the trail of destruction left by the thieves

Burglars smashed a front window at Doncaster Mind in Wheatley before ransacking the shop and making off with a charity box.

They struck overnight on Wednesday at the store on Beckett Road, some time between the shop closing that day at 4.30pm and staff arriving on Thursday morning at 8.15am. It is believed they broke in after 11pm when neighbouring shops would have been closed.

Store manager Ann Matthews said: "It's a charity shop for mental health. What can you say about anyone who would break into such a place?

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"I'm disgusted and hurt that someone could do this, and the staff are all shook up by what's happened.

"It's quite frightening. We don't have a lot of volunteers and either I or the assistant manager have to come into the shop alone to open up in the morning, when it's dark."

Ms Matthews believes the thieves may have been disturbed, as a number of watches and other pieces of jewellery were found emptied into a bin and a plastic bag which had been left behind in the shop. Some of the items were stained with blood.

She said they had clearly rifled through the till, although it is always left empty overnight.

It is not known how much was in the charity box but Ms Matthews said she feared the burglars might use it to trick people into handing over their money, and she has warned everyone to be wary of potentially bogus charity collections.

It is unclear whether any other items were taken, as Ms Matthews says staff at the shop don't do a daily stock take of donated goods.

This is not the first time the store has been targeted.

In September 2016, thieves forced their way in through the back door and left a trail of destruction, even trying to chisel their way into the safe, unsuccessfully.

Mind supports people with mental health problems and campaigns to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding of the issue.

* Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101, quoting the incident number 142 of Thursday, January 4.