A NUMBER of items, including a charity box, purse and a bottle of wine, were stolen from Bishop Auckland Hospital over a 24 hour period.

A vending machine on a training ward was broken into and money was taken and a staff locker was forced and a purse was stolen.

Entry was also gained out-of-hours to the Outpatients centre, where keys were taken allowing the thief access to the MacMillan Centre where a quantity of change was stolen from a charity box, money was stolen from a drawer and a bottle of wine was taken.

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The thefts took place over Wednesday, June 11 and Thursday, June 12.

Detective Constable Jeremy Downing, of Durham Police, said: “It is absolutely appalling that someone could steal anything from a cancer charity.

“I would appeal for anyone who has knowledge which could assist or saw anything suspicious in the hospital on those days to contact us.”

Witnesses should call the Bishop Auckland serious crime team on 101 or report any information via Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800-555-111.