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'Scumbag' thieves steal hospice charity box
Neil Horwell, of Horwell Brothers in Mansfield Street, York, surveys the damage to his business after thieves broke in and stole a charity box
THIEVES have been condemned after they smashed their way into a York scrap metal yard and stole a hospice charity box.
The culprits broke into the Horwell Brothers scrap metal merchants yard in Mansfield Street, off Foss Islands Road, in the early hours of yesterday and stole the contents of the box, which was clearly marked for the St Leonard’s Hospice and was full with about £35 to £40.
Police called the theft “particularly upsetting” and urged anyone with information to come forward.
The hospice, in Tadcaster Road, York, cares for people with cancer or other life-threatening illness.
Neil Horwell, owner of the scrap metal yard, said he was alerted to the break-in when an alarm sounded at the site at about 3.30am.
After he arrived, he noticed shattered glass on the floor and damage to a steel reinforced door.
The thieves tried to enter through the door and when that failed, smashed two windows to get to the charity box which was chained to a desk in Mr Horwell’s office.
He said: “They obviously spent a lot of time trying to break in. The windows are double-glazed and the charity box was chained to my desk so it would have been a hell of a job to get to.
“We have a lot of copper and lead here so we have taken precautions and a rigorous alarm system.
“The only word for these thieves is scumbag. Absolute scumbag. This money was for the St Leonard’s Hospice.”
A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “Any burglary is a distressing experience for the victim and on this occasion it is particularly upsetting as money which was being collected to help a charitable cause has been stolen.”
Witnesses can phone police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.