Uncaring thieves make off with vegetables from Barnstaple Foodbank on Christmas night – and cause £1,000 in damage

Damage caused by the break-in. Picture: Andy KeebleDamage caused by the break-in. Picture: Andy Keeble

Thieves broke into Barnstaple Foodbank on Christmas Eve - and made off with just three trays of vegetables.

They also caused £1,000 in damage by shattering a full length window at the Rose Lane building, apparently by using a DIY store trolley they had taken from nearby Wickes.

Police said it occurred sometime on Christmas Eve night between 9pm and 8am Christmas morning.

The alarm went off and the thieves made a hasty retreat with two trays of Brussels sprouts and one tray of mushrooms.

Duncan Withall, chairman of Northern Devon Foodbank, said it would not affect the running of the foodbank but had caused inconvenience and ultimately cost to the charity.

"All our funds and support come from the people of North Devon so basically they have stolen from them," he said.

"It's sad that somebody should go to all that trouble. If there were people in need we have plenty of food available and access to it - they could have had it for the asking.

"As it happens there was not a lot worthwhile for them to get hold of. The joke on the day was that police were looking for villains with a severe case of wind."

But Mr Withall said overall the support from North Devon this year had been the best ever: "We have been blown away this year by the sheer generosity of the people of North Devon, we have more this year than we have ever had. It just kept coming right up to Christmas, lots of food and toys."

North Devon Sector Inspector Roger Bartlett said: "It's particularly sad that people would choose to target a premises involved in doing so much good and operating as a charity on a shoestring - and particularly over the Christmas period when they are so active."

* If anyone saw anything suspicious at the time, they are asked to call police on 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111, quoting CR/91318/16.