Published: 19:47, 23 September 2021
| Updated: 14:57, 24 September 2021
A dog grooming salon is counting the cost of a break-in after bricks were hurled through a window and a charity box stolen.
The Hair of the Dog parlour in Dartford was targeted by a thief in the early hours of today.
The box contained about £50 for the New Hope Animal Rescue Centre, based in Herne Bay, when the burglar raided the shop at about 3.30am.
Boarding has been put up covering the smashed window with a message saying: "All this for a charity box."
In a post on social media to customers this evening, the business thanked people for helping to tidy up and for words of support.
"The total lowlife stole our charity box for New Hope Animal Rescue Centre, which is a wonderful organisation in Kent, who do amazing work," the message said.
"We have got CCTV footage which is currently being investigated.
"This is the second time this has happened in a couple of years at Hair of The Dog.
"What a very sad world we are living in, but your support and kind words have been overwhelming."
Fuming residents took to social media with one describing the culprits as "lowlife scumbags".
Business owner Lorraine Simmonds-Payne said: "It has been a bit of a manic day, myself and my staff having get to the salon before opening to clear glass up.
"We managed to stay open thankfully, but our furry clients had to access via the back door as a precautionary measure due to the glass.
"I called the police to report it and they were very helpful. Having said that, I since found out that the shop next door had CCTV but it wasn’t very clear, but I thought they might have the equipment to make it a bit more clear but they said that without a clear picture of him, they couldn’t help.
"This was the situation a few years ago when we had a huge rock put through the window.
"No CCTV evidence but no forensic tests done as we had footprints.
"I am disgusted that someone has done this again to us, but the local community support I have received has been overwhelming."
Speaking on Friday, Lorraine added there had been "donations flooding in" for the charity since the break-in with more cash sent to New Hope than was initially in the pot in the shop.
She said: "It's nice something good has come out of it and is quite overwhelming when everyone pulls together. It restores the faith a bit more."
A police spokesman confirmed investigations are ongoing but officers had been unable to ascertain a description of any suspects.