Raiders smash up Bashley tea room charity box and let donkeys loose
THIEVES raided a tea room where they let loose a herd of donkeys and smashed up a charity collection box to take its cash.
They took money from a Guide Dogs for the Blind collection box after using one of the museum’s carts to wheel the canine-shaped container around to the front electric gate, which was closed.
The raiders also left open the gates to one of the premises’ animal enclosures that housed a number of donkeys.
Viv Brackett, from the museum, told the A&T: “The first warning we had of trouble was when we found the donkeys loose on the museum drive on the Monday morning.
“On checking the property we found that they had stolen the Guide Dogs for the Blind collection box from the courtyard. They used one of our carts to transport it to the front electric gate where they smashed it open and took the money from inside.”
She added: “The police have been informed and we have been provided with a crime reference number. We have muddy footprints and are checking our CCTV system.”
A spokesperson for Hampshire Police confirmed that they received a report that cash was taken from the charity box outside the café adjacent to the museum between 4.30pm on Sunday and 8am on Monday.
Neil Farley, owner of the tea rooms, told the A&T that he has decided not to replace the collection box and to remove existing ones for fear of a repeat incident.
He said: “I am honestly not that surprised. I really don’t know what possesses people to steal from the blind but I guess this is the world we live in.
“I won’t be getting a new one and I am going to lose the other boxes to deter them from doing it again. It is a shame, really, as the Guide Dogs for the Blind box has been here ever since I bought the café.
“I am not sure how much money was in there but it was really heavy which is why they must have used the trolley. We do a lot for charity as it is by making cakes for raffles and local causes and we will continue to do that but there will no longer be any collection boxes on site.”
Those with information about the incident should call 101 quoting reference number 44190376569.