September 28th, 2016

Thieves steal thousands in raid at nature centre

Updated: 5:11 pm, May 06, 2015

CALLOUS thieves stole thousands of pounds in cash from a popular Honeybourne nature centre which caters for children and families.

All Things Wild was ransacked by the raiders at 8.40pm on Remembrance Sunday (November 9) and the thieves made off with three safes after they smashed their way through the front door and office door.

The shocking raid was discovered at 10.45pm that night when the cleaner went to the Station Road site and found a giant concrete statue, which had been used to gain access, outside the front door.

He then found the office had been burgled and immediately contacted police.

General Manager Ben Freeman told the Observer CCTV images from the night show three offenders using a crowbar to wrench the safes off the wall and concrete floor and out of the room to a car parked outside.

Police officers later recovered the trashed empty safes but Mr Freeman, who has been at the centre since it opened its doors two and a half years ago, expressed his shock at the raid.

“Everything was locked up that night and we made it as safe as possible.” he said.

“It is shocking really, the fact that somebody wants to rob a children’s nature centre is simply not right.

“It is not nice for the staff to know this, it is not nice for them to walk in on what they had to walk into on Monday (November 10) as we were picking up wood from all over the floor.

“Police have said the safes are trashed and non-usable, they had all been wrenched open. The police have been really supportive, they have been excellent really.

“Through the whole process they have been there for us.”

Officers have got a copy of the CCTV from the incident and Mr Freeman said forensic checks had been done at the scene and on the recovered safes, although no cash was found.

The popular centre has now been forced to tighten its security and will have to find cash to install new doors to replace those wrecked in the raid.

All Things Wild, based in Honeybourne, provides an all-weather family attraction, which includes exotic animals and a giant toy shop and caters for school groups and educational days to children’s parties and corporate events.

A police spokesman said: “Police were called after reports of a burglary at the premises on Station Road in Evesham.

“The burglary is thought to have taken place between the hours of 5pm and 10pm on Sunday, November 9, where the safes

were stolen.”

Anyone with further information on the incident can contact police on the non-emergency number 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

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