The manager of a Chichester charity shop has spoken of her shock after thieves broke in overnight.
Kathryn Manouch said cash was stolen and substantial damage was caused after the overnight burglary at Age UK in Crane Street, which was noticed by staff at nearby stores first thing this morning (Wednesday).
She said: “They called the police for us, first thing. Money was taken from the till, £60 worth of cash is gone.
"Hundreds of pounds worth of damage has been done to the back door. It is going to cost a charity all that money to get it fixed.
"It is the worst thing to happen at this time of year. We have just started our big Christmas campaign to support people who are lonely and now this happens.”
The charity shop, which had already been ‘urgently’ seeking donations, will now need to raise some extra funds to cover the repair costs.
“We have got good customers and I’m sure they will support us,” Kathryn said.
“It is going to cost us between £800 and £1,000 to get the door replaced and that has to be done today.”
Kathryn said a similar incident happened at the shop ‘four of five years ago’, after which they bought a stronger, steel door.
“I thought that would keep them out,” she added. “I thought there was no way they would get through my back door again.
"The metal has been twisted. They must have used a crowbar or something. It was a shock.”
Sussex Police confirmed an investigation is now underway.
A spokesman said: “On Wednesday morning, a report was received that a burglary had occurred at Age UK, Crane Street, Chichester, overnight. It is believed a small quantity of cash was taken and enquiries are ongoing.
"Anyone with information can contact the police online at https://www.sussex.police.uk/contact/af/contact-us/ or by calling 101, quoting serial 285 of 06/11.”