Sunderland charity devastated after break-in

Community and Disability Advice Charity , FISCUS break in. From left charity manager Anita Heskett-Saddington and apprentice Courtney Knowles
Community and Disability Advice Charity , FISCUS break in. From left charity manager Anita Heskett-Saddington and apprentice Courtney Knowles

Workers at a Sunderland charity have been left heartbroken after they were targeted by burglars who made off with around £2,000 worth of equipment.

Fiscus, a community advice charity based in Villette Road, Hendon, was raided over the weekend.

Community and Disability Advice Charity , FISCUS break in. From left charity manager Anita Heskett-Saddington and apprentice Courtney Knowles

Community and Disability Advice Charity , FISCUS break in. From left charity manager Anita Heskett-Saddington and apprentice Courtney Knowles

Thieves gained entry to the offices by smashing their way through the roof before stealing three laptops, a PC, a projector and two mobile phones.

In the process they also broke into cabinets and draws causing considerable damage.

Devastated charity manager Anita Heskett-Saddington, 47, said: “The equipment that was taken isn’t really of use to anybody else, as it is all quite old.

“There was only one brand new laptop, a white Lenovo, which we had just bought for our new apprentice and just received some funding to buy it.

“We first discovered what happened on Monday when a senior member of staff came in and saw the office has been left in such a mess.

“Some of it was just petty damage, they pulled a phone off the wall, there was no need to do that.”

The charity which helps around 1,000 people every year, works with partner organisations, sharing resources to provide advice, crisis support and community services in Sunderland and the wider North East.

The team of six is made up of staff and volunteers, who have since taken measures, installing CCTV cameras on site.

She added: “Everyone has rallied round including the local community businesses and people have been in touch to say that they are keeping an eye out if they see someone selling the equipment.

“It could have been a lot worse, but everybody is devastated.

“But were not going to let it stop us, it is business as usual.”

A Northumbria Police spokeswoman said: “Police are carrying out enquiries after a burglary in Villette Road in Hendon.

“The burglary happened between 8.45am on Friday, May 5 and 8.10am on Monday May 8.

“An Acer computer and Lenovo laptop were among the items stolen.”

Any witnesses are asked to contact Northumbria Police on 101 quoting reference 175 08/05/17 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.