Thieves target Glasgow The Caring City clothes banks
Thieves have stolen about two tonnes of clothing from a children's charity after breaking in to five of its donation banks in South Lanarkshire.
Glasgow The Caring City said the clothing banks were targeted in East Kilbride over the May bank holiday.
Specialist cutting gear was used to remove the locks, which were replaced with new ones the thieves could re-use.
The theft comes weeks after the charity was hit by the theft of 12 hospital beds it had intended to send to Sudan.
The charity's development manager, Ross Galbraith, described the theft from the clothing banks as a "real blow".
"This was an audacious and shocking theft that is likely to cost us thousands of pounds," he said.Organised thefts
"It's not only the damage to the clothing banks which we will need to repair, we've also lost a considerable amount of donations which would have gone to help children around the world."
Mr Galbraith said the theft would have involved a high degree of organisation.
"The people behind this would have had access to specialist equipment to remove the locks on the clothing banks and replace them with ones they could then re-use," he added.
"They would also have had access to transport to make off with a considerable amount of clothing.
"We estimate that the amount of donations up until the May bank holiday could have been up to two tonnes."
The thefts in East Kilbride came weeks after 12 hospital beds, which the charity intended to send to Sudan, were stolen from a Glasgow storage unit.
The charity was set up in May 1999 to help those made homeless by wars in the Balkans, as well refugees arriving in Glasgow.
It has since branched out to offer health, security and education support to vulnerable children around the world.