donated stock at a Bath Street charity shop has been wrecked by water leaking from the empty unit next door after thieves broke in and stole copper piping.
Staff arrived at the Extra Care shop on Monday morning to find water pouring through the walls and soaking stock that was ready to go on sale.
Manager John Place said: “There must be 20 or 30 bags we’ve had to chuck away, a skip full.
“Over £250 worth of stock that people have taken the time to sort out and donate to us.
“That’s the sad thing, stuff that has been given to us to make money for charity has been ruined by some thieves taking a few bits of metal.”
Staff at the shop, which raises money for Extra Care, a charity that supports elderly people, tried to track down the empty unit’s owner but failed and had to call the police.
John added: “There was water everywhere and it just kept coming.
“We didn’t know where it was coming from at first, when we realised what had happened we still had to find next door’s stop cap which took a while.
“We tried to build a dam and were mopping as fast as we could but it was beating us.
“There were four or five of us on it all day so that’s staff hours as well. Luckily it didn’t reach the main shop.
“It might not sound a lot and there isn’t any lasting damage to the shop but £250 is a lot of money to a charity, especially at the moment.”
Staff were in the middle of moving the shop around and setting out the autumn and winter stock.
Police arranged for the next door shop to be boarded up and confirmed that thieves had been in the shop and taken the piping and a sink.
Officers investigating the thefts are appealing for anyone with information to contact them on 0345 1233333 or freephone Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
Anyone who would like to donate stock can take items to the store or call 0115 9304441 to arrange for it to be picked up.