THIEVES broke into a Wombwell charity shop yards away from the police station - and stole just 10p.

Age UK was one of a number of shops targeted by thieves in which the familiar signs of a roof break-in were evident.

Staff at the shop opened up on Monday morning to find a large hole in the roof but noticed nothing had been stolen except 10p from a collection box.

A similar scene was discovered by staff at The Fish Bar - a hole in the roof but nothing more than 30p from the till was taken.

However, the result was far more devastating for the Age UK Barnsley shop next to Linda's Café.

Like others, staff at the shop discovered a large hole in the roof, but also that the safe had been stolen - which had £600 inside from Friday and Saturday's trading.

"I can't think how they would have removed it, especially without damaging the tiles," said Susan Aylward, the shop's assistant manager. 

"It was bolted so deeply I can't even get my finger to the bottom of the hole. They also managed to break through the steel door at the back of the shop."

Susan suggested the thieves may have gained entry to the row of buildings via the 'Wombwell Arch' railings leading onto Pearsons Field.

But Cllr Margaret Morgan said she would be very upset if the arch was being used by would-be thieves to gain access to roofs.

"It (the arch) was done with love and affection and everyone admires it. I think it's a very beautiful piece of artwork made by our children and I would hate to think it's linked with anything of that nature," she said.

The break-ins are the latest in series - mostly identified by ceiling entries - that have been ongoing since Christmas.

The Lounge Salon on Station Road had been broken into twice in one week and about £5,000 of goods had been stolen from The Fone Shop on High Street.

In February, some traders suggested hiring a security guard to patrol the High Street and Station Road, paid for by the subscription of businesses - but this was not welcomed by the High Street Committee.