THE owner of an animal rescue centre in Brinsley said he was ‘hugely disappointed’ after thieves ransacked a charity shop that raised money for his cause.
The Expectations charity shop opened less than a month ago and raises money for both Brinsley Animal Rescue and the East Midlands Air Ambulance.
But last week thieves raided the shop and stole collections tins, jewellery and computer games leaving the rescue centre’s owner Jon Beresford devastated.
He told the Advertiser he had been putting all of the money raised from the shop into building a wildlife hospital, which he says will now have to be put on hold.
“It’s a huge disappointment for us,” he said.
“It’s set the hospital back. We get lots of baby birds, foxes and hedgehogs and we repair broken legs and wings and all sorts.
“But at the moment we do it all from our utility room because we have nowhere else to do it.
“We are really struggling. We’ve got loads of animals and not enough space so we needed a heated animal hospital for treating them.”
Mr Beresford, who runs the rescue centre from Hobsic Close, decided to start saving for the hospital when the charity shop revealed it would raise money for him.
He estimates it will cost around £10,000 and said he also planned to write to local businesses asking for their help.
He said he would hopefully start building it next year.
Raiders used jemmies and car-jacks to prise open the steel-plated fire door before ransacking the charity shop on Butterley Hill, Ripley, last Friday, January 28.
The break-in happened just two days after police installed CCTV cameras inside.
Colin Jackson, who founded the charity shop, said: “We’re devastated. People have donated all the goods we sell and then these people have come in and ransacked the place.
“A young girl of seven came in last Saturday and gave us a jar of money. She had been saving her pocket money for months. It leaves a bad taste in the mouth. It’s like being robbed in your own home. ”
Mr Jackson estimated repairs to the back door would cost more than £500, while he put the value of stolen goods at around £400.
He said CCTV footage showed two men in balaclavas ripping open drawers in the cash desk and hand-picking jewellery from the display cabinets inside the shop.
A neighbour spotted two male teenagers in the area at around 3am.
The pair wore fleece-type hooded tops and dark trousers. One was around 5ft 10ins tall, the other was about 5ft 6ins.
Anyone with information should contact police.