Thieves ransack Leeds charity after breaking in through the roof

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Thieves climbed scaffolding and broke in through the roof of a Leeds charity before ransacking the office.

Burglars stole seven laptops, two desktop computers and five company mobile phones from Leeds Autism Services head office in Hunslet, as well as emptying the company safe, stealing cash and company bank cards.

Thieves broke in the roof of Leeds Autism Services in Hunslet.

Thieves broke in the roof of Leeds Autism Services in Hunslet.

The thieves tried to use a company card at two cash points in Leeds just after midnight on Monday, March 4, without success.

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CEO Peter Hughes said: “It beggars belief that someone would choose to steal from a charity which cares for some of the most vulnerable people in our city.

“Not only does this take valuable resources away from the people we support, but also from the staff team who work with such dedication and passion to provide a high quality service.”

Leeds Autism Services, based in Grape Street, provides support for adults on the autistic spectrum.

The thieves broke through the roof before making two holes in the loft space to access the finance office and the manager’s office. They had turned away CCTV cameras on a building opposite.

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Both rooms were trashed as the thieves caused damage to filing cabinets and paperwork as they tried to locate PIN codes for the bank cards.

A shocked staff member could not even open the door to the finance office on Monday morning due to the mess the burglars made. One desktop computer was even left on the roof.

The burglary was confined to the offices, so disruption to support services was minimal.

The scaffolding has now been removed and the damage repaired.

Mr Hughes added: “I’m sure we’ll recover from this burglary but it will have a lasting impact on the organisation in an already challenging climate.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank West Yorkshire Police for their role in the investigation and our service users, supporters and staff members for their patience and the assistance they’ve provided to help us get things back on track.”

West Yorkshire Police believe it happened between 10pm and midnight on Sunday, March 3.

Anyone who witnessed anything suspicious over the weekend of March 1 is asked to contact them on 101, quoting crime reference 13190114972.