THIEVES STEAL CHRISTMAS: Presents for needy and homeless stolen in Chesterfield

The window of Chesterfield Credit Union was smashed by the burglars.

The window of Chesterfield Credit Union was smashed by the burglars.

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Heartless burglars stole Christmas presents that were intended for the homeless and needy in Chesterfield.

A handful of wrapped gifts were stolen between 2.30pm on December 17 and 8am the next day from Chesterfield Credit Union on Soresby Street after a window was smashed.

The presents had been kindly donated to the grassroots community organisation by Chesterfield Homeless Christmas Shoebox Appeal to hand out to their members.

People are now being urged to come forward with any information about the incident to help police with their investigation.

Karen Peck, head of the Chesterfield Credit Union, said: “When I found out I felt very angry and I still feel angry now.

“To think that they can help themselves to presents that are for the homeless is shocking.”

The offenders smashed the main front glass window to get to the presents but they did not gain entry.

The window has been boarded up at a cost of £250.

The brazen burglars are also believed to have returned to the shop on Monday to try and steal more of the gifts but were unsuccessful.

CCTV footage from a nearby shop apparently shows the burglars putting their hands through the smashed glass panel and helping themselves to the presents.

The shop was given the gifts by the Chesterfield Homeless Christmas Shoebox Appeal after collecting items from people all over Chesterfield and surrounding areas.

The presents included clothing items such as hats, scarves and gloves and food items such as chocolate and sweets.

This year the Chesterfield Homeless Shoebox Appeal have donated parcels to the homeless, low income families, victims of domestic violence, children and even homeless dogs and cats after receiving a staggering 2,124 boxes.

Elaine Osborne, who has helped run the appeal with Rebecca Hope, said: “What has happened is absolutely awful. I feel sick to the stomach thinking that someone has done it.

“Some of the boxes were given so much thought and care when they were put together. It is heartbreaking.”

Call police on 101 with any information, quoting reference number 16000422185.