“MINDLESS” thieves smashed their way into a vets to steal donations for good causes in the run-up to Christmas.

Tiptree Veterinary Centre, in Maypole Road, was broken into by crooks when it was closed over the weekend before Christmas Eve.

A member of staff at the practice sent a message to the raiders after they arrived to find the front door smashed last Monday morning.

It said: “Thank you very much to the mindless morons that broke in to Tiptree Veterinary centre sometime between us closing at lunchtime on Saturday and when I arrived to open this morning.

“They threw a brick through two windows, leaving broken glass over the path and entrance hall so that no dogs could enter through the main door.”

The thieves did not get away with much, but they did escape with collection boxes for national and local charities.

The member of staff said: “They stole nothing but our collection boxes – one very recognisable as it was a yellow dog for Guide Dogs For The Blind.

“How very cruel at Christmas.”

Shocked and upset residents have rallied around the centre, which has another branch in Colchester.

A resident said: “This all makes me sick.

“So many people work really hard just for people to think they can help themselves.

“I’m a great believer in karma, but it by no means helps victims like this vets and so many more.”

Another member of the community encouraged others to pull together and gather donations for the centre’s charities.

An appeal has been launched in the hope police and the centre can find those who carried out the burglary.

Anyone with information or CCTV footage that could help the police in their investigation is urged to call 101.

They can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously and report any information on 0800 555111 or on the charity’s website at crimestoppers-uk.org.