VANDALS have poured motor oil into charity clothing banks and destroyed hundreds of pounds worth of stock.

They also sprinkled a mysterious yellow powder into the recycling banks at The Potters Wheel, Buckley, rendering second-hand clothing for the Salvation Army, Variety Club and Dee-tex useless.

Charity bosses have blasted the “despicable” crime and said it will have a knock-on effect for hundreds of people.

Paul Ozanne, national recycling co-ordinator for the Salvation Army, said: “Individuals who vandalise our clothing banks have no regard for the less fortunate we are raising money to help.

“Theft and vandalism threatens to damage the trust, goodwill and charitable spirit that has been built up over the years between the generous general public and organisations such as ourselves.

“A number of items in the bank at the time were damaged but we will evaluate what items are still recyclable, even if it’s shredding them for things like mattress stuffing.

“The most important thing is that they don’t end up in landfill.”

Mr Ozanne said the charity takes every precaution to minimise vandalism, including specially designed locks and CCTV cameras and he is urging the public to keep vigilant.

“Unfortunately this type of criminal behaviour does occasionally go on and we’re keen to put a stop to it,” he said.

“Whilst we encourage people to continue using our banks, we would ask them to help deter this criminal behaviour by looking out for any suspicious activity and reporting it directly to the police.”

Saltney-based Dee-tex sells second-hand clothing and donates the proceeds to charities across Flintshire.

Managing director Brian MacManus said: “This behaviour affects not just us but the hundreds of people who benefit from what we do, from the people who buy the clothes to the people we employ to sort the clothes.

“The lengths some people go to to get their kicks is unbelievable – it is despicable.”

Buckley Bistre councillor Richard Jones is urging anyone with information to contact the police.

“The very poorest in our society have been affected by some clown who has decided to do something stupid,” he said.

“Somebody out there knows something about this and I would urge them to tell the police.”

Anyone with information is asked to call North Wales Police on 101.