Drugs, money and charity boxes stolen in Sidmouth Veterinary Practice break-in

Vet Richard Jones outside Sidmouth Veterinary Practice. Ref shs 02 19TI 8282. Picture: Terry Ife

Vet Richard Jones outside Sidmouth Veterinary Practice. Ref shs 02 19TI 8282. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Money, charity boxes and drugs were among the items stolen in a burglary at a Sidmouth vets.

Drugs, money and charity boxes taken from a Sidmouth vets has prompted its owner to issue a warning.

Thieves broke in via the rear fire escape door of Sidmouth Veterinary Practice and stole money, charity boxes and drugs last week.

The break-in was only discovered the morning after when the staff arrived to open for the day ahead.

It is believed entry was forced between 7pm on Tuesday (January 8) and 8.20am on Wednesday (January 9).

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In the incident, the vet’s safe was broken into and drugs were stolen.

Owner Richard James, who was a veterinary surgeon in Yorkshire for 22 years before relocating with his family to Sidmouth spoke to the Herald this week to issue the warning to other pharmacists and vets.

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He said: “They knew exactly what they were looking for. It was clearly the drugs in the safe that they were after and so all other vets and pharmacists in the area should be aware.”

There are worries that the lack of forensic evidence could make finding the culprits difficult as the vets said they have to rely on CCTV footage from the neighbouring Sidmouth Garden Centre.

Announcing the news on their Facebook page, the vets said it was one of the first nights in weeks that they hadn’t been in out-of-hours and that the outcome might have been different.

They said nothing much could be done but to pick up the pieces and carry on and that it was saddening and maddening in equal portions.

Sidmouth Veterinary Practice is one of two practices in the town alongside Jurassic Vets and has proved popular among residents.

Commenting on the vet’s Facebook post, many users said they were sorry to hear the news and some even offered help if needed.

Police found packaging of the drugs and empty charity boxes in a ditch nearby, which have since been returned.

A police spokesperson said an investigation was under way.

If anyone has any information or saw anything suspicious, the police are appealing for witnesses and can be contacted via 101@dc.police.uk or by phone on 101. The crime reference number is CR/002595/19.

Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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