CRUEL thieves broke into a community foodbank before making off with bags of goods - which they later dumped.

Coatbridge Foodbank discovered that their premises on 25 Coatbank Street had been raided overnight on Thursday.

Staff opening up the community hub spotted that the back door entrance shutter was ripped out of the wall and the door was burst open with a crowbar.

They immediately called the police who revealed that they had already found five bags of goods belonging to the foodbank outside a nearby supermarket.

Now the in-demand organisation will have to fork out the cost to repair the damage to their entrance caused by the break-in, which they have yet to calculate.

Angela Easton, co-ordinator of the foodbank, said: "We are fortunate we get a lot of donations at this time of year.

"When we contacted the police, the two young officers said they had our stuff. Loads of stuff including toys, toiletries and confectionary was dumped behind the local Tesco.

"They had raided our offices too but we have no cash on the premises."

The food bank, which opens in the town on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, had to shut down their operation in the midst of their busiest period while forensic officers searched for fingerprints.

Angela said: "I am not even angry, I am heartbroken. We are a voluntary team here and we are all absolutely devastated

"We can't even open up our premises to help the public. I have opened all week to meet the demand of our service users and now I have had to close."

She added: "This foodbank is very much part of the community who gave us the donations. It is the heart of the community and we help so many people.

"In December alone, we have maybe helped around 350 people including adults, children and pets."

Police Scotland confirmed that they received a report of the break-in at around 9.30am on Thursday.

A spokeswoman added: "Enquiries are ongoing."

Donations can be made to the foodbank at their premises. Items accepted include milk (UHT or powdered), sugar, fruit juice (carton), soup, rice/pasta, pasta sauces, tinned fruit/vegetables. tinned meat/fish, cereals, tea bags/instant coffee, jam, biscuits or snack bars, nappies, wipes, treats for kids, cleaning items and pet food.

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