'We're gutted at TV theft': Burglars strike at Hanley WRVS day centre
STAFF at a day centre for elderly people are appealing for donations after thieves stole their flat-screen TV.
The 42-inch Samsung TV and DVD player, which is worth more than £350, was taken from the WRVS in Charles Street, Hanley. Staff bought the set only six months before the raiders struck.
The break-in means weekly film afternoons and regular video games sessions are off for the people who use the centre, many of whom suffer from dementia.
And money for trips out will instead be used to help buy a replacement.
Service assistant Angela Brookes, aged 51, of Longton, said: "It's shocking that people could steal from old folks.
"I was so annoyed when I saw that someone had taken the TV because we had waited for so long to be able to get the money to buy it.
"Some of the service users were really upset. They said they have missed having the TV because we have a film afternoon every week and they enjoy playing games on the DVD player.
"A lot of the service users have dementia so it helps with their memory."
Thieves also took a money box containing about £10 that Angela had been saving to buy gifts. She added: "Luckily, I had emptied out most of the money the week before."
The centre has £50 in the kitty but needs another £320 to buy a replacement TV.
Manager Helen Podmore, aged 38, of May Bank, said: "It's hard enough to keep the centre running without things being stolen.
"I was absolutely gutted when I found out. We've never had anything like this happen before in the two years I've been a manager here. We had only just bought the TV in May.
"It's going to be really difficult to raise the money to buy a new television because times are hard.
"The £50 we raised was to go towards day-trips and pub lunches so it would be fabulous if people can help with donations for a new TV."
Police said the burglary happened between 4pm on December 11 and 8.40am the following day. It is believed the raiders entered through a fire exit.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Staffordshire Police quoting incident number 89 of 12 December 2012.