Charity theft is soul destroying, says boss

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SUDBURY’S Citizens’ Advice Bureau is counting the cost of a “soul-destroying” break-in.

Burglars stole £2,000 of IT equipment from the centre in Belle Vue House during an overnight break-in last Thursday.

The thieves got into the CAB in Newton Road after smashing a window between 8.30pm on June 28 and 9am the next morning. It is the fourth time in 10 weeks that the building has been targeted.

Ann Furlonger, manger of the CAB, which gives out free advice to people on issues including tax, benefit and debt problems, said she was growing weary of the disruption caused by such incidents.

“Its frustrating that whoever did this thinks that it is ok,” she said.

“This sort of thing takes time, energy and money to sort out and it achieves nothing.

“It is soul-destroying as it stops us seeing clients and has meant we have had to turn some people away.”

Mrs Furlonger, who has worked at the centre for six years, said a number of windows had been smashed in the past – usually on the Belle Vue Park side of the building. Glass lager bottles had been used to break the window during the break-in.

She added that if the vandalism continued, staff would consider putting bars on the windows.

“It has happened so many times and it is mindless,” said the 46-year-old.

“Each time we have to search the entire building because we don’t know if someone could still be inside.

“We don’t want to put bars up as it would make it very oppressive for our volunteers and clients, but we might have no choice.”

Although Mrs Furlonger said the break-in had taken up nearly a week of her time, when the CAB was already stretched, she was determined the service would continue doing what is does best.

“We are always here to help and this burglary won’t stop that,” she said.

“No matter what problems people have, we can help them understand their rights and give support.”

Adrian Osborne, deputy mayor of Sudbury, said the burglary was a “terrible” incident.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk Police urged people to remain vigilant around Belle Vue House and report any suspicious behaviour immediately.

q Anyone with information relating to the burglary should contact Pc Jake Less at Sudbury Police by calling 101.

FED UP: Sudbury CAB manager Ann Furlonger said the centre would consider putting up bars across its windows to deter thieves.