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May 20, 2005

New Charity HQ Wrecked By Thieves

From: Community Newswire - UK - May 20, 2005

By Ben Pindar, Community Newswire

SOCIAL Ransacked Carlisle, May 20, 2005, 2:40pm

A Cumbrian charity was today left reeling after thieves caused thousands of pounds worth of damage in their newly-refurbished office just hours after it was officially reopened.

Within hours of the celebrations ending at the Cumbria Deaf Association's Carlisle office, which has just undergone a £40,000 makeover, thieves ransacked the premises and stole £400 in cash.

They broke into the Compton Street building after smashing a window before using a metal fire extinguisher to break down 10 internal doors. Once inside, they forced open drawers, cupboards and filing cabinets in search of valuables.

The thieves eventually managed to get into an office safe and stole £400 in pound coins and notes, which was donated to help people with hearing difficulties.

Ian Douglas, support services manager, said: "It is hugely disappointing that they would target someone like us. We are insured, but now we will have to pay excess, which we would rather be spending on providing a service for people with hearing difficulties.

"The day before was just an ordinary day. We locked up as usual. Then on Tuesday the first member of staff came in and saw the fire extinguisher lying there.

"Stuff was just strewn everywhere. They smashed up heavy-duty fire doors. The cost of 10 of those is going to run into thousands of pounds."