Cowardly thieves broke into a popular social facility for elderly people and trashed an armed services charity box to steal five pounds.
Talbot House, Talbot Street, Grangemouth, has only suffered two break-ins since it opened in the mid 1970s and the second one, which happened between 2.30 p.m. on Friday, August 3, and around 10 p.m. on Sunday, August 5, has had a devastating effect on some of the regulars.
Manager Val Smart broke the news to people this week on their first day back to Talbot House since the premises closed for a two-week holiday.
Some of them had just attended last weekend’s Armed Forces Day parade in the town and were shocked when they heard what had happened to Talbot House’s Help the Heroes charity sweet dispenser during the break-in.
Val said: “I locked up for our two week holiday on the Friday. Then I got a call from police on Sunday night saying what had happened.”
The thieves gained entry and made off with a collection bottle which contained around £60 raised for Talbot House by those who regularly attend the premises.
“Taking the money we raised for Talbot House was bad enough,” said Val. “But what really bugs me is why did they completely destroy our Help the Heroes sweetie dispenser?
“All they got out of it was £5. I would ask these people if they are proud of what they have done. They are going to be old some day too and need a place like Talbot House - would they like this to happen to them?
“We got a £200 cheque from Syngenta this year and that money could have been used to give people a bus trip or day out. Now it’s going towards repairing the £180 of damage that was caused during the break-in.
“We were lucky they never vandalised the place.”
“They were probably desperate for money to feed their drug habit,” added disgusted former councillor Pat McCafferty, chairman of Talbot House. “This is a place where elderly people come to meet friends - a good outlet for them that gets them out of their home.”