Thieves wreck Royal British Legion HQ in Sunderland

Royal British Legion chairman Vince Harris angry over break in.
Royal British Legion chairman Vince Harris angry over break in.
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A club has been left counting the cost after a break-in raid on its tills.

Windows and the cash equipment of the Royal British Legion in Grange Terrace, in Sunderland city centre, was targeted during the early hours, leaving a trail of destruction behind.

The problem we have got its that we now have to fix the windows and make it more secure and really we’re short of funds.

Vince Harriso

Bosses are looking at a bill of £500 to fix the damage, while an amount of cash was also taken.

Police are investigating the burglary, with the incident captured on CCTV, while additional security measures are being installed in the building.

Vince Harris, chairman of the club and the Sunderland branch’s Poppy Appeal said: “The problem we have got its that we now have to fix the windows and make it more secure and really we’re short of funds.

“The Royal British Legion was invented because of the Poppy Appeal, where they decided to get a club together and they might like a little drink, that’s where the club came from.

“But the Poppy Appeal funds are totally separate.
“One hundreds percent of the Poppy Appeal goes to help services men and women, their families and veterans.

“But it’s important the club keeps going and that’s funded by people coming in for a pint, keeping it alive.”

The club was last hit by a burglary in December.

The upset of the theft has failed to overshadow the branch’s achievement with its latest Poppy Appeal grand total.

It hit £88,145 during the last year, a huge rise from the £59,000 collected by its members and supporters in the year before.

The latest efforts were backed by Morrisons, The Bridges, collection at the city’s railway station Castletown Women’s Section and the Church of the Latter Day Saints.

The latest attack happened at 1.40am on Friday.

Northumbria Police is carrying out inquiries into the burglary and is appealing for information which could help officers’ investigations.

Anyone with information can call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.