Thieves intent on stealing cash from an ATM machine blew up the front window of a charity shop at the weekend.
In the early hours of Sunday morning, the Wendover branch of the Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity was struck.
The High Street store, which holds an ATM machine owned by Barclay’s bank was blown up with propane gas, causing damage to the building and donated stock.
The ATM’s rear doors were flung 10 feet back into the store, the glass front windows shattered and bric-a-brac was damaged.
This is the second time this year that the ATM has been targeted, but residents were quick to offer support to the charity in the urgent clean-up operation.
Phil Moody, head of retail at Florence Nightingale, said: “This is a really sad day for everyone involved with our Wendover shop and couldn’t have come at a worse time with the festive season soon upon us.
“Our shop manager Shirley Baker and her dedicated team here in Wendover work extremely hard to ensure the shop is well presented, well-stocked and is appealing to our customers.
“The explosion of the ATM machine has caused considerable damage to the shop frontage including all windows, three glass display units and shelving, and the internal ceiling.
“We have had to throw away donated clothing due to the possibility of glass fibres being present, particularly in the children’s-wear section of the shop.”
Mr Moody added: “The mass clean-up operation involved 18 volunteers and their families, as well as staff.
“On behalf of Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity; I cannot thank you all enough.
“The community support has been fantastic - even a cyclist passing by the shop early Sunday morning stopped in to help with the clearing up, and also made a donation which was an extremely kind gesture.”
If you have any information about who is responsible for the break-in you can call Claire Busby at Aylesbury Police Station on 01296 396110.
Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, your details will not be taken down and you will not have to go to court.