Second raid in a month at cancer charity backed by Little Mix star

Would-be burglars have been slammed as 'despicable' after targeting a cancer charity's headquarters.

The damage caused in the second break-in at Cancer Connections.
The damage caused in the second break-in at Cancer Connections.

Heartless yobs smashed the front door of Cancer Connections, in Harton Lane, South Shields, this morning in what was the second attempted burglary there in less than a month.

Police are investigating both incidents, which the charity – which counts Little Mix star Jade Thirlwall and Paralympic swimming champion Josef Craig among its patrons – believes has cost them at least £500.

From left to right, Cancer Connections workers Margaret Duffy. Brenda Herrington and Kathryn Cox.

Deborah Roberts, the manager and co-founder of Cancer Connections, said: “The alarm system appears to have deterred them in the end, because the sensors went off.

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“Even though nothing was taken, this is just causing so much havoc for us and taking our attention away from important areas.

“We’re having to use money that should be spent on cancer patients on things like replacing glass and on security.

“We think the incidents have cost us about £500 overall, which might not sound like a great deal, but when you think about what that could do for cancer patients, it’s sickening.”

Deborah Roberts has hit out at the would-be burglars.

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She added: “Whoever did this is despicable.

“They clearly haven’t been affected by cancer, or they wouldn’t be doing this and targeting a charity like ours.

“Hopefully they never need our services, but if they ever do, hopefully it will prick their conscience.

“We work hard enough without having to deal with incidents like this.

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The damage caused in the second break-in at Cancer Connections.

“It’s so distruptive to the work we’re doing.”

The first incident took place at some point between December 16 and 19, and saw the window of the bathroom at the property smashed, before the burglars were disturbed and made off before they could get in.

The charity was then targeted again at about 12.30am today, when the alarm fitted at the building went off after the front door was smashed.

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Cancer Connections supports cancer patients and their families, and offers services including councilling and other therapies.

The damage caused in the first break-in at Cancer Connections.

A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: “Police are carrying out enquiries after a burglary at Cancer Connections, in Harton Lane, South Shields.

“The break-in happened at about 12.30am on Friday morning.

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“Any witnesses should ring Northumbria Police on 101 quoting reference 223 050117, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

“Police are also investigating a burglary at the same premises that happened between Friday, December 16 and Monday, December 19.

“Any witnesses should again ring Northumbria Police and quote reference 237 191216, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

The damage caused in the first break-in at Cancer Connections.

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From left to right, Cancer Connections workers Margaret Duffy. Brenda Herrington and Kathryn Cox.
Deborah Roberts has hit out at the would-be burglars.
The damage caused in the second break-in at Cancer Connections.
The damage caused in the first break-in at Cancer Connections.

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The damage caused in the first break-in at Cancer Connections.