BRAZEN burglars have broken into Gainsborough Library in order to pinch pennies from a charity box.
The burglary, which happened on Thursday 22nd March, comes just days after another public building - the chapel at Gainsborough General Cemetery - was targeted for the second time in three weeks.
It has left the Gainsborough community wondering ‘what next?’
Thieves smashed a window at the rear of the Cobden Street library to gain entry at around 11pm last Thursday before breaking into a collection box near the front door.
Nothing else was stolen except for the cash inside the box. Library users use the box to donate money towards library books and other resources.
“I think it’s disgusting that someone has abused the library like this,” said Margaret Bendell who is a regular book borrower.
“It is a service for the community that everyone can use no matter who you are.”
“I read about the cemetery burglary in the paper too. It’s such a shame that these things happen.”
“I don’t know what these people want. Whether it’s a shortage of work - I don’t know.”
Another library user who wished not to be named said it was ‘a sign of the times’.
“I didn’t know about the burglary but it’s really quite disgusting,” she said.
Another gentleman said: “It doesn’t surprise me. This sort of thing keeps happening more and more.”
“People must be really desperate to do something like that.”
Jonathan Platt, head of libraries and heritage at Lincolnshire County Council said only a small amount was taken from the collection box.
“We’ve reported it to the police and they are investigating,” he said.
“Meanwhile it’s business as usual at the library.”
West Lindsey district Insp Simon Outen said commercial burglary in Gainsborough town itself was not prevalent.
“In West Lindsey we currently have a 16 per cent decrease in this type of burglary and a 10 per cent decrease compared to last year,” he said.
“We have had some increases about three weeks ago, but a number of offenders have been arrested and are currently on remand, so consequently, our burglaries have decreased.”
“However, as the warmer weather approaches, we are liable to an increase, and people should be mindful that unscrupulous members of society are always looking for an opportunity to prey on others.”
Figures for residential burglaries in February are not yet available from the force. But January’s statistics show there were 26 burglaries in Gainsborough, compared to 35 in January 2011.
A spokesman for Lincolnshire Police moved to reassure readers that residential burglaries were not a big problem in Gainsborough.
He explained that during the darker winter months thieves tend to target properties with no lights on inside, indicating no one is home.
While warmer weather leads to an increase in ‘sneak in’ burglaries as people leave doors and windows open.
Lincolnshire Police want to hear from anyone who saw anything suspicious around 11pm on Thursday 22nd March in the library area.
Call 101 quoting crime number 498 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.