A CRUEL thief has targeted a charity which provides vital support for local people with learning disabilities.
Solihull Life Opportunities (SoLO), which is based in Chelmsley Wood, reported a break-in last Thursday evening (November 23).
Under cover of darkness, the culprit had smashed one of the windows at the charity's Walnut Close premises and stole the organisation's new smart TV. It's understood the alarm was raised by neighbours at around 9.30pm.
The crime comes just a few weeks after staff, volunteers and service users had celebrated the launch of the building's new extension, for which fundraisers had drummed up £145,000.
Writing on Facebook following the break-in, a SoLO spokesperson said: "This is a horrible and unfortunate situation and a very sad reflection on our society. Fortunately, nobody was hurt..."
There was an immediate outpouring of sympathy from local people, with Councillor Debbie Evans (UKIP, Kingshurst & Fordbridge) describing the crime as "absolutely heartbreaking."
A fundraising page has been set up to raise £800 towards a new TV, and local residents have also been asked to consider taking part in a reverse advent calendar campaign - putting aside a small donation each day in the run-up to Christmas.
This month's theft is not the first time that SoLO has been targeted. In 2010, burglars had broken a hole in a store room roof and stolen a raft of electronic equipment.
Solihull Police are investigating this most recent incident. If you have any information about the crime, call officers on 101 [quoting crime number 20SH/254023K/17].