Charity cash snatch in raid on Sunderland pub

Rear of the Hastings Hill pub, Sunderland that was targetted by thieves on Thursday.

Rear of the Hastings Hill pub, Sunderland that was targetted by thieves on Thursday.

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THIEVES raided a pub and snatched charity cash raised by kind-hearted punters.

Burglars also dumped a bandit machine in nearby bushes when they targeted the Hastings Hill in Sunderland.

The thugs forced their way into the pub through the back doors before searching inside for cash.

They tore all of the optics behind the main bar off the wall, taking with them the bottles of spirits.

The thieves managed to grab a charity box with about £300 inside that regulars had collected for the football club they sponsor, Roker Angels Under-15s.

A police search of the area found a bandit machine dumped in nearby bushes, which is thought to have been left there to return to later as the thieves made their speedy getaway.

Pub owner George Jenner has now been left to foot the estimated £1,000 bill.

He said: “It’s frustrating that this has happened because it’s the fourth or fifth time we’ve been broken into now. It’s ridiculous what they’ve taken too.”

The alarm was raised at the Sevenoaks Drive pub at about 5.30am yesterday, when the tenants living above the premises were woken by the burglar alarm.

“I drove straight over when I found out but couldn’t get inside because the police were here with their dogs,” Mr Jenner said.

He said that as well as taking all of the bottles from the optics, the thieves had damaged the doors and stolen a “unique charity pig” on the bar that the pub had been using to collect the money for the football club it sponsors.

Mr Jenner added: “They have also ripped the bandit machine out, but we think they must have been disturbed because it was found in trees near the pub and they were probably hoping to return later for it.”

Mr Jenner was at the pub yesterday while police trawled the scene for evidence.

He then started the clean-up operation to get the pub back in working order before opening hours.

Police arrested two men, aged 25 and 31, on suspicion of burglary. They have been bailed pending further inquiries.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 03456 043 043 ex 69191 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Twitter: @sunechocrime