Heartless thieves steal from Sidmouth church

PUBLISHED: 12:05 03 December 2010 | UPDATED: 15:02 03 December 2010

Emergency Police Services

Emergency Police Services

Archant

SHAMELESS thieves smashed open a Sidmouth church collection box and stole the cash within.

SHAMELESS thieves smashed open a Sidmouth church collection box and stole the cash within.

Criminals made off with around £50 that generous visitors had donated to keep St Giles and St Nicholas Church open and running.

Saddened staff say they won’t let the heartless act stop them ensuring townsfolk can use and enjoy the landmark.

“I think it’s very sad that people break into churches, take relatively small amounts of money and do a lot of damage,” said the Reverend Prebendary David James, “There is no the respect for a holy place any more, that is the shame of it.”

Thieves struck between 11.30am and 2.45pm on Tuesday (November 30).

Police said the lock of the wooden donation box was smashed and around £50 taken.

Rev James said it is suspected two young men seemed to come into the church and opened the box.

“The money normally goes towards church funds. It’s simply part of our regular income,” he added.

“More than anything else we like to be able to keep the church open so people can enjoy it and use it as a place of prayer and quiet. We’re determined this is the town’s church and people should be able to come in and use it. We won’t be deterred by this. I think it is sad people do that kind of thing. It does them, and us, no good.”

The damaged collection box was part of a recent major refurbishment of the church.

“It had all been newly and professionally made, it’s not any old box,” said Rev James.

Sidmouth police have appealed for witnesses and any information relating to the crime.

Contact officers on 08452 777 444, crime reference number: KS/10/674, or Crimestoppers in confidence 0800 555 111.

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