Charity cash taken in raid near Hook
Thieves broke into a garden centre on Sunday night, stealing a collection of charity boxes.
A 39-inch television was also taken during the break-in at Greatfield Nurseries and Garden Centre, near Hook.
Whilst the exact amount of money taken is not known it is believed a number of the charity boxes taken were quite full.
Four smaller charity boxes were taken and two larger ones had the locks snapped and were emptied.
They were for Marie Curie Cancer Care, Action for Children, Wiltshire Air Ambulance and the Perennial Garden Charity.
The two larger ones were Action for Children and Guide Dogs UK.
The owner of the garden centre said he could not understand why someone would steal them as they contained so little money.
Colin Hoare, 67, said: “When they are full they have about £17 in them so it really isn’t that much. People only ever put coins in and very rarely notes.
“They have taken the television down and rifled through all the paperwork in the office. We have checked all the other stock and can’t see anything else missing.
“It’s very frustrating and I feel for all the people who have given money to the charities.
“We don’t keep any money on the premises. Even if we did, most of the transactions these days are done with a card so the amount of cash would not have been as high as a few years ago.”
Mr Hoare, who has worked at the centre all his life, first discovered the crime when he arrived for work on Monday morning.
The lock to the door had been smashed off and the charity boxes were spread all over the floor.
He said: “My first reaction when I found everything strewn across the floor is probably not printable.
“The thieves must have carried everything away by hand. The gate was shut and the ram barrier behind it has not been touched.
“We also have another smaller screen, which was on the wall but had been put on the floor, so I’m wondering if maybe they were disturbed in the act.
“They have been through the filing cabinets and had a go at the computer in which we keep a list of the stock. We thought they might have taken the harddrive but they only took the CD tray which will be of no use to them.”
Unfortunately there was no CCTV on the premises but forensic teams have scoured the site for evidence as well as conducting house to house enquires.
Call police on 0800 555111 or Crimestoppers on 101.