A third burglary in a week caused a doctor’s surgery to close and left patients stranded.
Thugs used garden shears to cut electric cables outside Stonebridge Surgery and then smashed two doors to get in.
Doctor Aliya Bhat thinks they were looking for drugs inside but said none are stocked at the practice run by her and her dad Dr Gullam Bhat.
Dr Bhat said she is disheartened by the ‘mindless burglaries’ and said patients have been let down.
She said: "I can’t understand why these thugs are doing this. I’m quite disheartened and disillusioned by it all.
"We live in a close-knit community and have a wonderful patient population here so we can’t let this behaviour happen. When I got in on Tuesday the whole area was in disarray.
"Shutting for the day caused disruption and inconvenience to up to 40 patients.
"They are predominantly elderly people who had to walk down in the icy cold conditions. My staff were frightened to come in too."
Dr Bhat added: "I think we now need emergency shutters and a ventilated door put in place to the store room."
"Who knows, these thugs might be targetting other surgeries. But if it is drugs they are after – we don’t have any here. I’m not even sure if we have paracetamol."
Police confirmed an investigation is underway following the trio of burglaries at the Heys Lane surgery in Oswaldtwistle.
The first was an attempted break-in overnight on January 9 where thugs tampered with the electricity box and smashed the back door but failed to gain access.
On January 14 the wires in the same electricity box were severed completely – but electricity was restored.
However the third burglary, which took place overnight on Monday, January 16 knocked the power out until Tuesday forcing the practice to close until it was restored.
A police spokeswoman said: "They haven’t stolen anything but have caused damage.
"Anyone with information should contact us on 101."