Frustration as heartless burglar steals charity collection tin from Northampton bakery

A heartless burglar stole a charity collection box after breaking into a Northampton bakery in the early hours of Thursday morning.

The back window at Duston Village Bakery was smashed and the iron bars were removed so the intruder could get in at around 1.40am.

Sisters-in-law Lucy (left) and Jenni Smith with a replacement Thomas' Fund collection tin outside Duston Village Bakery after the break-in

Sisters-in-law Lucy (left) and Jenni Smith with a replacement Thomas' Fund collection tin outside Duston Village Bakery after the break-in

But all that was taken was a donations pot for Thomas' Fund - a Northampton charity set up to provide musical therapy for disabled children in memory of Thomas Smith, who died of a neuro-degenerative disease at the age of ten.

The thief is also thought to have targeted another business on Main Road but nothing was stolen, police said.

A frustrated bakery owner Jenni Smith said the latest burglary is the third time in eight years the shop has been broken into.

"I'm grateful they didn't do any more damage, we have got to replace the window which has got to be made to measure as it's very old," she said.

"But the support from friends and customers has been lovely, it makes you feel like people appreciate what you do."

Ms Smith said she realised something was wrong when she saw the outdoor bin was in the wrong place and found the smashed window and iron bars in a neat pile.

She has CCTV footage of a man walking past the shop at around 1.40am which is being handed to police.

A Northamptonshire Police spokesman said the offender seems to have been disturbed by an alarm of some kind and appealed for anyone with information to come forward by calling 101.

Thomas' Fund is a charity close to Ms Smith's heart as Thomas was her nephew - all the staff tips and 5p carrier bag charges go in the collection pot.

Fortunately, it had been emptied recently but Ms Smith's sister-in-law and Thomas' mother, Lucy Smith, is still disappointed someone would take it.

"They're thieves and I suppose they have to get whatever they can whenever they can," she said.

"I can get another tin it's just frustrating really that people have donated their money and it's just stolen."

Lucy Smith set up Thomas' Fund in 2007 to provide musical therapy for children with life-limiting illnesses or a disability at home as Thomas was unable to benefit from it when he was too unwell to go to school.