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'Who would do this?': Charity hit by burglars for third time in six months

By Carl Jackson | Cannock | News | Published:

A charity has been broken into for the third time in under six months, with children’s toys and hundreds of pounds worth of tools swiped.

Mandy and Billie Dando examine damage at DADS' log cabin turned grotto

Dads and Disabilities Support (DADS), in Cannock, was targeted between Friday night and Saturday morning.

The hooded culprit was captured on CCTV entering the premises on Longford Road around 10pm on Friday.

He stole left-over children’s Christmas presents and an electric fire after smashing his way into a log cabin which charity owner Andy Aldred had hand-built and transformed into a children’s grotto.

A CCTV image of a suspect

The suspected then proceeded to take expensive tools, including a set of industrial ladders worth £500 on their own, from another part of the compound.

Blood was left behind at the scene and staff are hoping police can use it to identify the thief.

It is the third incident since September at DADS, which supports families with disabled children.

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A spokeswoman said: “It is just so disappointing.

“We had around 800 children in the grotto for Christmas.

“Andy built it himself for people who are not able to get to that sort of thing."

The log cabin was built by DADS owner Andy Aldred

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She continued: “As a charity we don’t have a lot of available funding and now this is something else we will have to try and find the money for.

“The presents themselves were not worth that much but a lot of damage was caused, he literally kicked the door in.

“The tools were worth hundreds of pounds.

“It is just the inconvenience of it all and the fact this is the third time something like this has happened.

“Who would do this to a charity?”

DADS has also shared an appeal for information on its Facebook page with images taken from the CCTV.

A still from the CCTV footage

The post said: “So last night we were broken into!! We are disappointed and disgusted to say the least!!

“He did not access the store but did break into the Grotto or should I say kicked the grotto doors in, taken the left over kids toys from Santa’s grotto, taken the fire from the grotto too!! Why spoil it for people??

“He’s also accessed the work area and expensive tools have been taken and ladders also.”

The charity shop was broken into in September while a month later an expensive chipper was stolen from a trailer at the premises. Staffordshire Police confirmed the break-in had been reported to them and officers were due to attend and take further statements.

DADS is run by parents and carers whose children have special needs and disabilities. It provides free course and a centre where people can receive help and support.

The charity relies on volunteers to keep it going. Anyone with information should call police on 101.

Carl Jackson

By Carl Jackson
@CarlJackson_LDR

Local Democracy Reporter covering Birmingham City Council.

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