A CHARITY has been left counting the cost after heartless thieves burgled their premises and stole valuable equipment.
The YMCA in St Paul’s Road was ransacked early on Monday morning.
Once inside the burglars took computers, laptops, cameras and other equipment, running into thousands of pounds.
It is the second break-in the centre has had in recent weeks. Last month thieves burgled the premises and took seven computers.
Dan Ryan, chief executive of Hastings and Rother YMCA, said: “Given the nature of the work we do for the local community this seems to show a complete lack of respect and moral fibre from the people who thought it was okay to come and burgle a local charity. They even smashed the window at Jigsaw Nursery so as to get inside, leaving shards of glass everywhere.”
Judith Monk, the charity’s chairman, said: “Our charity is dedicated to helping young people in the town and to this end we regularly seek funding to create a warm, friendly and hospitable place for young people to learn and play.
“It’s very sad that a group of young people with their hoodies pulled up and scarves around their faces, chose to wantonly destroy parts of the building and steal anything they could transport. They deliberately sprayed the CCTV cameras with something to obscure them, shut down the power supply to the alarms and clearly knew exactly what they doing.”
She added it took nursery staff hours to clear away the broken glass left after the burglars smashed the window.
She said: “Some of the leads that they took from the nursery operated items that they didn’t remove, so the equipment left is now useless without a power supply.
“The Y is run by a band of volunteers who work tirelessly to ensure it serves the youth of Hastings and surrounding places. I have a question for the ones that defiled our building: Why?”
The charity is now considering having to invest in extra security, such as more CCTV cameras.
A Sussex Police spokesman said the burglars broke into the YMCA between 1.45am and 2.30am on Monday.
Anyone who witnessed anybody acting suspiciously in the area around this time or has any other information is asked to call Sussex Police on 101.