A STORE set up purely to help others has been targeted by thieves in a smash and grab attack.
The Leeton Community Op Shop is the latest in a string of break and enters at businesses in the main street, as well as thefts from motor vehicles throughout town.
The thieves broke into the store sometime between 11pm Monday night and 5.40am on Tuesday by smashing the front door of the building.
Police were called and forensics have attended the scene.
Op shop store manager Jodie Ridge was not impressed.
“What really gets me angry is we are here for the community,” she said.
“They have not just smashed our glass window, they’ve taken our safe. That’s got two days worth of takings and our keys.
“Without the money we make in the store we can’t help the people who really need it through our services and we programs we provide.
“It really sets us back. We’ll now have to pay for new glass and our insurance will probably go up as a result.
The op shop was closed on Tuesday as a result of the break and enter.
Volunteers rostered on for the day were called and told not to come in, leaving many of them shaken as well, according to Mrs Ridge.
Welfare and social services manager at the shop, Narelle Weymouth, had a piece of advice for the thieves.
“It’s clear these people probably need help … come and see us and we can help,” she said.
“That is what we are here for. We would rather provide the help than have incidents like this happen.”
Police will be reviewing CCTV footage in the area as they also investigate a similar break and enter at the Coffee Tree, just up from the op shop.
That incident occurred sometime between Sunday night and early Monday morning.
In this case, the store till was taken, but trading was able to recommence on Monday.
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