Compassion for thieves who ransacked offices

Lieutenant Ryan Parkin
Lieutenant Ryan Parkin

INTRUDERS smashed their way into the Atherton’s Salvation Army offices, leaving a trail of mess.

The yobs had broke into the premises in Great George Street last Thursday night but had not stolen a great deal.

Lieutenant Ryan Parkin, care officer at the Atherton Salvation Army, said: “Someone broke through the window in the early hours of the morning.

“Luckily they didn’t steal much. I think a neighbour had heard the break-in and informed the police, who were obviously nearby as they were there within minutes. The intruders must have heard the siren and ran off.

“They had not ransacked the place really. It looks like they rooted through a few boxes but got interrupted.

“There were a few wires across the floor and boxes open but nothing of real significance was taken.

“But it has caused a lot of mess as they have damaged the door and there was glass all over the floor.

“It is frustrating and disappointing as we like to think we are a church and organisation that helps people in the local community.

“If someone is desperate and needs help, we would rather they come in through the front door, rather than break in, as we can offer some support through our various services.

“Being targeted in this way hinders what we are trying to achieve as it makes things grind to a halt.

“I am grateful to the police who responded very quickly and, as it seems, prevented the intruder from making any real damage and stealing anything worthwhile.”

The Salvation Army, in Atherton, is open all week with various drop-in groups.

On Mondays The Good Grub Lunch Club runs from 12.30pm until 2pm; Small faith groups Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 7pm until 9pm; an employment workshop on Thursdays from noon until 3pm and a children’s club for youngsters aged seven to 11 Friday evenings, from 5pm until 6.30pm.