Clare: “Wacky Races” burglary causes thousands of pounds of damage

BURGLARS made off with a 42-inch television on the back of a motorbike after causing thousands of pounds of damage to a social club.

Police are appealing for information after Clare Social Club - a well-used venue in Station Road, Clare, near Sudbury - was targeted in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Social club chairman Gary Spittle, 46, almost caught the culprits red-handed as he arrived at the building, comparing the scene to the animated show Wacky Races.

Mr Spittle, who has run the club for at least 15 years, said he was alerted to the crime by the alarm company just after 5am, and when he got there he saw two lads making off on a little scrambler-style motorbike with the 42-inch TV between them.

“They were weaving across the country park, trying to keep control of the motorbike. Obviously they didn’t want to fall off and smash the TV.

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“It was like watching Wacky Races.”

As well as stealing the �500 TV the club bought after a year of saving up, Mr Spittle, a father-of-one, said they had taken about �100 from the fruit machine.

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The wall they yanked the TV from was damaged, as well as windows they tried to get through, a wall has been pushed out of position and they also cut off the power supply and damaged the alarm system.

Mr Spittle, who works for a coffin manufacturer in Haverhill, estimated the cost of the damage to the building, which had only just been redecorated, was in the thousands.

He said: “Everyone at the club is just disgusted and very angry.”

Clare Social Club, which is run by volunteers, is an ex-service and working men’s social club, which is used by groups such as the bowls club and the railway club.

Mr Spittle said: “In the present state of the pub trade it’s hard enough to keep the club going. The pub trade is bad, but when something like this happens it just puts you back.”

The electricity and alarm system have been restored at the club so the venue is still in use.

Anyone with any information about the burglary should call Pc Jason Thomas at Haverhill Police on 01284 774100 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

The suspects were seen on small green motorcycle wearing green helmets.

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