HAMMER-wielding thieves trashed a charity shop before fleeing with goods valued at hundreds of pounds.

The raiders smashed their way into the Capricorn Animal Rescue shop on New Street, Mold, and made off with an Apple iPad worth £600 – and two pairs of men’s shoes.

A claw hammer was left at the scene, but CCTV footage of the whole incident was mysteriously wiped clean.

Shocked workers were forced to close the shop yesterday to assess the damage.

Owner Sheila Stewart told the Leader: “You have got to be the lowest of the low to do something like this.

“Now we have been forced to close for the day which is going to mean a big loss for us.

“It’s hard enough to keep the animal sanctuary going without idiots like this coming along and thinking they’re big and clever – they are pathetic.”

Volunteers Lin Dodimead and Pauline Gregory made the shocking discovery when they turned up to open the shop.

Lin said: “I was putting the key in the front door when I saw all the broken glass and a hammer on the floor.

“We just couldn’t believe it. I think they know what they were after and they came in and got it.”

The thieves also knocked down an antique display cabinet containing a 24-carat gold plated vase and a 1960s vintage clock.

Manager Rob Stewart added: “Staff use the iPad to send emails, check deliveries and keep tabs on the shop’s Facebook page.

“Closing the shop means a loss of about £150 which doesn’t sound like a lot but it makes the world of difference to the charity.”

Capricorn Animal Rescue, in Padeswood, near Mold, nurses abandoned pets back to health and finds them new homes and the break-in came just days after the charity launched an emergency appeal for funds.

Mrs Stewart, who is midway through a project to expand and upgrade her rescue facilities, added: “We need to make £100,000 a year just to stay afloat but we are nowhere near out target.”

A police spokesman said: “We had a call shortly before 11.30pm on Monday reporting that a glass door to the Capricorn Animal Rescue shop had been smashed and inquiries are under way.”

Anybody with information is asked to call the police on 101.