THE community has rallied around a popular Witney cafe after it suffered a fourth break-in this year.

The Coffee Shed on The Leys was targeted again last week, as damage caused by burglars brought the estimated cost of the incidents combined above £1,000.

Ex-mayor of Witney, Chris Woodward, quickly set up a fundraising page to help pay for the repairs and the total raced past the £500 target, with almost £800 collected within three days.

Meanwhile, Witney company Low Voltage UK yesterday installed CCTV at The Coffee Shed free of charge, with cafe staff 'overwhelmed' by the help.

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General manger, Vonnie Whalley, said: “There’s a real sense that people want us here and they’re just as saddened as we are.

“I don’t think burglary is the vandals' initial aim, they just find it fun to smash a few windows.

“There was so much more they could have taken if it was planned.

“The first time it happened we lost all our toys and people kindly re-donated them.

“One time they smashed a side window so glass went into the kitchen and we had to throw out some food. These things have an effect.”

Both main double doors were smashed in the incident, which occurred overnight between August 28 and 29.

Thames Valley Police is investigating but said on Monday that no arrests had been made, with anyone who has any information urged to call 101, quoting reference number 43190266386.

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Mr Woodward felt compelled to reach out to the The Coffee Shed team and was pleased to see so many others follow his lead.

He said: “It’s disheartening for us as a community to see continued vandalism, so it must be devastating for the team there.

“I wanted to make a contribution towards their costs to replace the glass so they don’t have to feel as if they’re on their own. It’s a real asset to the community and I thought others may wish to contribute also.

“The continued outpouring of support is something to be really proud of and hope it spurs the Shed team to feel that they’re right at the heart."

The burglary was the latest in a string of worrying incidents at the recreation ground, with a man hospitalised by a 'gang of eight' people and a teenager assaulted in the same evening in June.

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A petition for CCTV to be installed on The Leys has reached more than 1,300 signatures, with Mrs Whalley also in support.

She said: “We’re a bit of a sitting duck, but there’s a lot of other things like graffiti, needles and smashed glass. It would certainly make us feel a little better.”

Witney Town Council says CCTV on The Leys is a 'long term aspiration' and is working with West Oxfordshire District Council, which holds the funds to Witney's CCTV scheme.

The scheme is currently under review, with town council spokesperson, Polly Inness, adding: "Because of the wider scheme review a portable system which will integrate with current software is being sought, however due to the system's age it is hard finding a supplier to currently support it."