By Tristan Harris Friday 02 November 2012 Updated: 03/11 19:32
BOSSES at the Primrose Hospice have hit out at callous burglars who stole envelopes containing cash and dedications for this year's Redditch Tree of Lights Christmas campaign.
The charity's town centre shop in Alcester Street was targeted between 5.10pm last Tuesday (October 23) and 8.30am the following day after thieves broke in through a window.
Around £200 worth of damage was caused by the burglary, which comes just three months after another break-in when money was taken from the till.
As well as money to fund the hospice's work caring for people with life-limiting illnesses, the envelopes also contained personal tributes to lost loved ones to be placed in a special book at the base of the tree in the Kingfisher Shopping Centre.
Lyn Winters, the hospice's fund-raising manager, said: "We cannot believe this has happened - it really does beggar belief.
"Whoever has taken those Tree of Lights donations should be ashamed of themselves.
"The Tree of Lights is already an emotive subject and more heartache will be caused because, if we do not find out who has donated, some of those tributes will not appear on the tree."
She urged any residents who had donated in the week prior to the break-in to get back in touch to ensure their messages appeared alongside this year's Tree of Lights.
"Because the money was in the envelopes, we do not now how much has been taken," she added.
"We realise the money has gone and we know we will not get it back, but we want to make sure people's tributes for their loved ones go onto the Tree of Lights."
Anyone who has donated and wants to ensure their message goes on this year's Tree of Lights should call 01527 889794. Other trees will be located at Redditch Crematorium and outside Thomas Brothers Funeral Directors in Headless Cross.
West Mercia Police are investigating the break-in and witnesses or anyone with any information should call 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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