Charity cash raised by children is stolen in raid at Scallywags in Melbourne
HEARTLESS burglars have stolen £500 of charity money from a nursery where children spent a year having their hair cut to raise it.
Youngsters at Scallywags, in Melbourne, were going to hand over the money they had raised to Treetops Hospice, in Risley, next week.
They have been donating £5 a month by having their hair cut by a private hairdresser who visits the Castle Lane nursery.
Burglars smashed a window to gain access to an office at the nursery between 4.15pm on Saturday and 2am yesterday.
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Once inside, they removed the money, which they found in an envelope, and also took a laptop.
Mary Dunnicliff is the owner and manager of the private day nursery, which has been operating for more than 10 years.
She said: "This is really awful for the children who have been so generous over the past 12 months to donate the money. I know some people do bad things, but when they do this to children I think it is totally unforgivable.
"We were only a week away from going to Treetops to hand them the donation, so to be targeted like this by these thieves is just terrible."
A milkman alerted the police to the burglary yesterday morning after seeing a light on in the office and the smashed window as he was doing his rounds.
Mrs Dunnicliff said the nursery had never been the victim of a burglary before.
She said: "Someone has smashed the window and got into the office and ransacked it. The money was very well hidden so they must have been inside a while before they found it.
"It is really annoying to be targeted in this way and I really struggle to forgive these people for taking the children's cash.
"Officers have obtained a couple of glove prints and some footprints so hopefully that will help."
Hairdresser Ruth Parkinson has given her time for free each month to cut the children's hair for charity.
She said: "I am really shocked by this, especially after so many of the children donated their money for such a good cause.
"I only hope the people who took it have a conscience and return it. Sadly, I don't think they will."
A Derbyshire police spokesman said officers have conducted house-to-house inquiries and urged anyone who may have seen anything to contact them. Anyone with information should call the police on 101.