Thieves caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to a children’s charity store - on the eve of Children in Need.
They ransacked Barnardo’s on Stanley Road, in Wakefield, trashing the store room and stealing stock before taking cash and jewellery.
The incident happened sometime overnight between Thursday, November 17 and the next morning - the day of the annual BBC fundraiser.
For store manager Amanda Scaife, the incident came at the worst time possible as the store was preparing for its big Christmas surge.
She said: “It’s made me and my staff very upset.”
“Every January we save up gifts ready for the following Christmas.
“The display for this coming Christmas had only been up for over a week when this happened.
“Obviously, we’ve now got just a couple of weeks to go so we haven’t got long to get it sorted.”
Miss Scaife says that the damage “probably runs into thousands of pounds”.
She also said that shoppers who use the store to buy cheaper Christmas gifts for children will be hit the hardest.
She said: “They’ve thrown everything around in the back and broke most things, but not taken them.”
“The charity shop gets a lot of people coming in to buy gifts, because it’s a lot cheaper.
“It helps them with the cost of Christmas, so this will be a big blow.
“It’s hit me and the staff hard and I’m sure the customers feel the same.
“It’s especially upsetting because it’s happened so soon to Children in Need day.”
PC Chris Duke of the Wakefield Central NPT, said: “This is a particularly callous offence, given it took place overnight, between the Thursday and Friday which was Children in Need Day.
“The store was forced to stay closed on this key fundraising date as a result of this break-in which has clearly made things even worse.
“Officers who patrol the area have been upset about this incident and we will be carrying out extra reassurance patrols.”
Anyone who witnessed the incident is urged to call 101, referencing crime number 13160693833.
Alternatively, information can be given anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.