CHARITY workers suffered further heartbreak when they were burgled only a day after their pet rabbits were killed.
The Owton Fens Community Association (Ofca) had its recycling unit in Mainsforth Terrace, Hartlepool, targeted by thieves who stripped valuable copper from cables.
It is the second time the sheds have been targeted recently as wiring was also stolen on August 19.
The damage was discovered at 11am on Wednesday, only a day after rabbits that had been donated to the organisation for children to look after were thought to have been stolen and killed.
Mark Ashman, 29, a work experience officer with Ofca, said: “I couldn’t even put a price on the damage they have done. They wrecked the place.
“This is the second time we’ve had something like this happen in a week, and then we had the rabbits thing on top of that.
“It’s all knocked us back and we are in shock about it all happening at once. It’s a hard time for us at the moment.”
Police were notified and are investigating both incidents.
Mark said it will take a long time to clean up the site, which is used to store mattresses and cars that are recycled in a bid to make cash to fund Ofca’s services.
Mark added: “They ripped the plastic piping off the wall and pulled out all the cable.
“They left tools all over the place, saws and knives, that they must have used to cut it up.”
The Mail reported yesterday how youngsters were left distraught after the disappearance of pet rabbits led to a gruesome discovery.
Mark found a pile of fur and intestines next to a beck after 14 out of 20 rabbits went missing from the charity’s plot near Summerhill Country Park, off Catcote Road.
The discovery marred what was supposed to be a happy day as the children celebrated the end of their summer holidays with a party.
Anyone with information about any of the incidents can contact Cleveland Police on (01642) 326326 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
l Ofca is a community group that offers a wide range of activities for people of all ages.