HEARTLESS yobs have targeted an autism charity shop in Bury – for the fifth time in 12 months.

Horrified volunteers arrived at Buddy's for Children with Autism, on the Rock, last Wednesday morning to discover that the shop's glass door had been shattered, leaving broken glass strewn across the pavement.

It is believed that those responsible for the vandalism then fled in shock after hearing the sound of the reinforced glass smashing.

However, the damage meant bosses were forced to close the shop for two days, leaving disabled youngsters without a place to go.

It is the fifth time in 12 months that the shop, which offers help and support to young people on the autistic spectrum, has been targeted.

In January, thieves ransacked Buddy's and stole more than £8,000 worth of equipment, donations and the store's CCTV system.

Following the latest incident, the shop's manager, Sharon Nuttall, said: "In the last 12 months, we have been broken into, and had a seating area outside the shop vandalised. We have had windows spat at, and human poo left on the doorstep.

"This time, they have tried getting in but because it was a reinforced glass door, it exploded and probably scared the living daylights out of them, and they have run off.

"We had to shut the shop for two days so we lost money on the shop, and we had no space for the children to come to.

"It took us time to clean up and we have had to pay for a new door to be fitted. It is very frustrating because we are all volunteers here."

The shop's doorway was boarded up for several days following the latest incident, although a new door was later fitted, enabling the shop to re-open on Friday.

A generous member of the public has also set up a fundraising page to help raise £1,500 to make up the funding the shop missed out on while closed.

A Greater Manchester Police spokesman said: “We were called at 7.10am on Wednesday, September 5 to reports of a break in that is believed to have happened over night.

“It is not believed that anything was stolen and it is unclear if anybody managed to gain entry to the store.”

To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/BuddysForChildrenWithAutism.