'Disappointment' after heartless thieves target Preston charity two-nights in a row

A charity dedicated to helping people from the military community has been targeted by heartless thieves two nights in a row.

Thursday, 28th June 2018, 1:31 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th July 2018, 6:20 pm
Faulklands war veteran Simon Weston with Donna Rowe Green

Volunteer workers for Dig In North West, which is based in the Ashton Park Walled Garden on Pedders Lane, say that equipment was stolen and property damaged in the break-ins which happened on Tuesday and Wednesday night.

Thieves stole a phone, camera equipment and keys during the first break-in and returned to steal high visibility vests, causing damage to the buildings.

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Bosses at the charity were appalled to discover the break-ins but praised the resilience of their team members.

Donna Rowe-green, founder and manager of the charity said: "The main feeling you feel when when you discover something like this is one of sadness and disappointment.

"We have been broken into two nights in a row. Our office is just a shed and they trashed the office and broke a window and a door to get in.

"But then everyone pulled together and tidied it up.

"The wonderful thing about our team is that they are so resilient - they don't get angry or upset they just get on with it. Cleaning up the mess there was a lot of laughing and banter. That's just how we support each other.

"Then on Wednesday we were broken into again and they went into three of our buildings.

"It's just a horrible feeling. To think that someone has come into a place known as a place of sanctuary for the veterans that we support.

"The worst thing is that while our team are sweeping up broken glass and picking up outside they are not supporting our vets.

"By creating this havoc they are taking away resources, and most importantly time, from the people we are trying so hard to support.

"That is the saddest part. The time and money we are spending on this could have been used on something so much better."

Volunteers at the charity are now appealing for help in catching the culprits.

A spokesman said in a post to social media: "On Wednesday, we arrived at the garden to find our office shed had been broken into, a window broken, the office messed up and some valuables stolen.

"On Thursday, we have arrived to find that the burglars have returned over night and done extensive damage throughout the garden, the greenhouse and the craft shed."

"If anyone heard or saw anything around the area of Dig In yesterday please get in touch."

Police confirmed they were investigating reports of two burglaries at the charity.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the police on 101 quoting log reference 432 of June 28.

The charity is open up to the public every last Saturday of the month. That falls this month on Armed Forces Day (June 30) between 10.00 and 2.00pm.