Thief snatches charity boxes in smash and grab raid of Burnham Library

James Hockaday

An 'awful' thief stole two charity boxes from Burnham Library during a smash and grab raid yesterday (Thursday).

Just after midnight the crook smashed a glass door by the library's courtyard garden, triggering an alarm.

The Windsor Lane library's CCTV footage shows the man failing to rip a TV from a stand on the wall, damaging a wall bracket in the process.

The burglar then stole two charity boxes, one of them being a Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal box and the other collecting for Friends of Burnham Library.

The theft of the Poppy Appeal box comes just a few weeks before Remembrance Sunday. It is not yet known how much money was stolen.

The boxes were tied to a computer monitor on the front desk which was knocked to the ground.

Library staff spent the whole of yesterday collecting shards of glass from the ground and tidying up the library.

Library assistant Julie Goodlad said the invader had 'ransacked' the library's office area, leaving all of the cupboards open.

She added: "We were very shocked.

"It's horrible. We were closed all day but we're open and ready for all our customers."

She said that a break-in of this kind has not happened at the library for a very long time and that the library will review its security measures.

Burnham Royal British Legion (RBL) member Jackie Slater said: "It's so degrading. It's so awful.

"You can't get much lower than to pinch a Poppy Appeal box."

The wife of Burnham RBL president Bob Slater added: "It's so sad that somebody feels they have to do that."

Fortunately, the Poppy Appeal box had only been delivered to the library that day so not much money, if any, would have been inside.

Burnham Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator Wendy Strathdee said: "It's beggars belief that we have people in our community who are capable of inflicting such mindless damage on a building that is a much valued community hub for so many people."

Police say the offender was a ‘slim man who was wearing a hooded jumper with the hood up’.

Contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 with any information.

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