Three Whittlesey churches and salvation army shop suffer break-ins, with money and laptop taken

PUBLISHED: 11:20 15 June 2015

St Mary's Church, Whittlesey.

St Mary's Church, Whittlesey.

Archant

Three churches and a salvation army shop in Whittlesey were targeted by burglars in the space of 30 hours.

Between Tuesday morning and 12.30pm on Wednesday, St Mary’s Church, St Andrew’s Church, The Methodist/United Reformist Church and The Salvation Army shop, of High Causeway, fell victim to intruders.

St Mary’s was hit twice - on Tuesday during the day, £100 was taken from the safe, after burglars stumbled across the safe key while moving furniture.

Then, that evening, burglars forced entry by smashing a stained glass window, although nothing more was taken.

Elsewhere, a window was smashed and a laptop taken from the Methodist church, with £250 takings plundered from the charity shop.

At St Andrew’s, offenders entered the vestry by lifting a trap door leading into the choir vestry, conducted an untidy search but appear to have left empty handed.

Rector Nigel Whitehouse said: “They came on Tuesday and then came back in night. They hit twice.

“The first time £100 was stolen from the safe. By fluke they managed to get the key by moving furniture. We made the church secure and locked up, but they came back in the night.

“On Wednesday morning I found we dustbin had been moved to near the door then saw the stained glass window was broken through.

“Your heart sinks. You wonder what you are going to find, especially after discovering the first break-in the afternoon before.”

For the past few years, the churches have been open for people to use. Despite the break-ins, this will not change, Rector Whitehouse says. However, valuable items have been taken off-site.

He said: “This will not stop us keeping the church open. Over the past two or three years, we’ve had the churches open and the visitor’s book is full of comments from people expressing their delight at this. Now, valuable items will be kept off-site and secured somewhere else.”

Anyone who has any information should call police on 101

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