Police have said they are “keeping an open mind” as to whether four break-ins in Peterborough are linked.
Thieves have targeted buildings in a close proximity to each other over the past month.
The Key Theatre in Embankment Road, Regional Fitness & Swimming Centre in Bishop’s Road, Peterborough Cathedral Development and Preservation Trust, which is located in a property on the south side of the Cathedral Precincts, and Burghley Academy in St Peter’s House, Bishop’s Road, have all been targeted.
The trust has the sole purpose of raising funds to support the cathedral which has struggled financially over the past few years.
It was broken into twice over the festive period, and on both occasions considerable damage was done during a forced entry, and property inside the building was vandalised.
Laptops and other office equipment were stolen or seriously damaged.
The Very Rev Chris Dalliston, Dean of Peterborough, said: “This a huge blow to the trust.
“The Peterborough Cathedral Development and Preservation Trust is a registered charity whose sole purpose is to raise funds to support the cathedral.
“As we work towards financial stability after a very challenging period we need them more than ever. This burglary is a time-consuming and expensive start to the new year, and a very sad distraction from their important task.”
The burglaries have been reported to the police and immediate repairs to the building are in progress. The trust office has temporarily been relocated to another site.
A fundraising appeal has now been launched to help the cathedral recover its losses.
Two laptops worth more than £1,000 were stolen from the Key Theatre at the Embankment on Tuesday, December 4. CCTV of a man police wish to speak to in connection with the thefts has been released.
Police were contacted at 1.35am on Friday, December 28 about the break-in a the Regional Fitness & Swimming Centre. Officers, including those trained in forensics, attended the scene but no arrests have been made.
Damage was caused to a window at the premises, but nothing is believed to have been stolen, police said.
Both the theatre and fitness centre are operated by Vivacity, which said: “We are very disappointed and disheartened by the break-ins.
“These cost the charity money, money we would prefer to be reinvesting in the services we offer our customers. Services are open and running as normal.”
Burghley Academy, a hair and beauty training academy, was broken into on Tuesday (January 8) between 10pm and 11.30pm.
Electrical items were stolen.
Officers, including those trained in forensics, attended the scene and an investigation is ongoing. No arrests have yet been made.
Anyone with information on any of the break-ins should call police on 101 or visit www.cambs.police.uk/report.
Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.