A charity shop has been left with a repair bill of nearly £1,000 after a burglar broke in – to snatch just £18
The Salvation Army store on Meanwood Road, in Meanwood, Leeds, was left open to the elements after the thief removed skylights from the roof in the early hours of Christmas Eve.
It had to stay closed for a three-day clean-up operation following heavy rainfall during the ensuing five days, resulting in £600 of lost trade.
Yesterday the charity was dealt a further blow when bosses were told it would cost £900 to carry out repairs.
Manager Val Howson said: “It’s absolutely heartbreaking.
“I’m a paid member of staff, but we have 12 volunteers who give their time for nothing and they had to spend three days just mopping up after this idiot.
“It’s so disappointing for everyone.”
The incident, caught on CCTV, happened shortly before 3.30am on Christmas Eve,
A man climbed on to the roof of the 100-year-old converted chapel and took out the two skylights before realising he could not safely make the 50ft drop to the shop floor.
After gaining access through another part of the roof, he was seen opening the till and taking £18 in cash.
Val discovered the damage when she returned to re-open the shop, which also runs a care-and-share service and gives away food, on December 28.
She said: “It rained in for five days and it took us three days just to clean up. A lot of the stock has been ruined.
“It’s especially galling because we had to stay closed and a lot of needy people have lost out.”
The incident happened a matter of weeks after a Salvation Army building in Morley suffered a double break-in.
Hundreds of pounds worth of children’s Christmas presents and cash were stolen after thieves got in through the roof of the Ackroyd Street premises twice in a matter of days.
The culprits also deliberately burnt a turkey that was cooking overnight ready for a Christmas dinner.
The incident at the Meanwood shop is being investigated by police.