AN Ashbourne charity isn’t celebrating this Christmas after burglars broke in and stole valuable electronic items.
Encore Reuse on the Henmore trading estate in Mayfield Road lost three laptop computers, a mobile phone and their charity collection box in the break-in.
The door to the workshop was also severely damaged by the thieves, who forced entry by breaking it off its hinges.
Police are appealing for information about the break-in, which happened some time between 5pm on Wednesday, December 18 and 9am on Thursday, December 19.
Project manager John Howells said: “I couldn’t believe it. When I got to work on Thursday I was on my own, and I saw straight away that the pedestrian door had been kicked off its hinges.
“It’s a five-lever lock, so that held, but you can still see the boot prints on the door where they kicked it hard enough to break it.
“As well as the laptops and van’s mobile phone, they took the donations chair, which held about £60 in loose change.”
“Thankfully they didn’t go in the workshop or showrooms, so it’s pretty obvious they were after cash and high-value electrical items.
“One of the laptops was almost new. We bought it especially to do our social media pages and website, as we need a fairly fast one to upload images, so we apologise to customers if we don’t update these sites until we get a new computer.
“Since we posted our bad news on Facebook we have been inundated with messages of support and good wishes from people, so I would like to say thank-you to everyone.
“It would be great if someone who has upgraded their laptop over Christmas could donate their old one to us, otherwise we will just have to save up again to buy one.
“We will be closed over Christmas but open again on Saturday, December 28.
“As always we will be closed on Sunday and Monday, but open on Tuesday and we would be grateful for any donations.”
Encore Reuse is a social enterprise which encourages the recycling of household goods and furniture.
The charity aims to reduce the number of unwanted furniture items going to landfill or ending up as unsightly fly tipping, while allowing families to furnish their homes at a greatly reduced cost.
Anyone with information or who saw anything suspicious is being asked to call 101 quoting crime reference 53567/13 or to get in touch through Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.