A charity shop has been the victim of expensive criminal damage after a cement bollard was hurled through their shop window. 

Teesside Hospice's charity shop on Linthorpe Road, in Middlesbrough, was damaged by vandals in an attack that may have been an attempted robbery. 

Speaking to The Northern Echo, marketing manager Chris Cook explained that running the hospice's essential services comes at a cost of almost £6,000 per day - and that after an event like this, these necessary funds are massively eaten into by repair costs. 

He said: "The Cleveland Police have been informed; however, damages like this without the criminal coming to justice mean we have to spend money repairing these insidious actions."

The Northern Echo: A bollard was hurled through the shopfront's window. Picture: Teesside HospiceA bollard was hurled through the shopfront's window. Picture: Teesside Hospice (Image: Teesside Hospice)

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Already struggling due to decreased donation numbers, this has come at a particularly bad time for the charity - and could have a devastating effect on the end-of-life individuals they help. 

Chris McMahon, Head of Retail, said: "Our shop on Linthorpe is a vital source of fundraising for the hospice.

"As a charity, we want to make sure that every penny goes towards ensuring that we continue to care for local people with cancer and other terminal illnesses and not repairing damage."

Teesside Hospice has fallen victim to vandalism before - in recent months, they were forced to withdraw a sunflower memorial display after it sustained thousands of pounds of damage, causing emotional distress for families involved in the campaign. 

For the charity, not only is financially damaging and a health and safety risk, but the smashed window could create unwanted attention, and Mr Cook is worried that it could tempt thieves into the shop. 

The Northern Echo: The charity shop is locate don Linthorpe Road. Picture: Google Streetview. The charity shop is locate don Linthorpe Road. Picture: Google Streetview. (Image: Google Streetview)

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"We already have a suspicion that the attack was an attempted robbery, but a broken window means they could try again, or another individual could steal stock. 

"Nearly everything in our shop has been donated by the public, but we still spend money campaigning for those donations, which would be wasted."

The charity has appealed to any witnesses to this "heinous crime" to make a report to Cleveland Police. They have also thanked the public for their continued support during this difficult time. 

If you want to support Teesside Hospice, you can donate via their website

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