Thieves smash and grab at charity which helps youngsters find work

Billy Baker and Rachel Oldroyd at Elite Training Systems Yorkshire's city centre store.
Billy Baker and Rachel Oldroyd at Elite Training Systems Yorkshire's city centre store.

Thieves broke into a charity shop and stole valuables, creating thousands of pounds worth of damage.

Elite Training Systems Yorkshire’s store on Westmorland Street was targeted during the early hours of Saturday, November 7.

The vandals smashed the front window of the city centre store and stole a designer watch and antique ornaments.

The organisation sells donated goods to fund courses, which helps disadvantaged young people find work.

Marketing manager Billy Baker said it will cost more than £3,000 to repair the window and replace the items.

He said: “It is really upsetting that someone thinks it is okay to target a charity shop.

“This act of pointless vandalism has placed the continuation of our development programme in jeopardy.

“If they needed help they should have come to us. We could have helped them.

“The profit we would have made from our two shops in a year has gone in one incident.”

The organisation has a store in the city centre and another one in Pontefract.

It runs construction, mechanics and hospitality courses for more than 240 young people across the district.

Mr Baker said: “The success of the programme has seen lots of young people, who may have ended up in risky situations or in trouble with the police, go onto paid employment or further education.

“We hope someone can identify the culprits or offer us support to get the programme back on track.”

Anyone with information should call West Yorkshire Police on 101.