Debenham: Centre manager describes scene of ram raid

SPORTS centre staff were left to clear up after ram-raiders smashed through a window, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage in an attempt to steal money from a safe.

A vehicle slammed into Debenham Sports and Leisure through a patio door in the early hours of yesterday morning, causing severe damage to a structural wall, before breaking through doors inside the building to reach a safe.

Centre manager, Steve Spurling, who was woken by the automatic alarm system at around 2.30am, arrived in Gracechurch Street to find the unopened safe had been dragged through the building and onto the patio. “The patio doors had been pushed through and I found a few doors broken open,” he recalled. “The safe was obviously just left there when it couldn’t be opened.”

Mr Spurling said the lounge bar ceiling had buckled in the impact, which also wrecked a set of patio doors installed in April following another break-in.

The centre remained open yesterday but the lounge bar was closed for the debris to be cleared up and for police to investigate the scene.

Officers believe a white Toyota Hilux, seen leaving the area at speed, may have been used to break through the glass doors to enter the main building.

A vehicle matching its description had been reported stolen from the Redlingfield, six miles away, between 5pm on Tuesday and 7.15am on Wednesday.

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Police would like to hear from anyone who was in the area of the sports centre in the early hours of yesterday morning or has seen the Toyota Hilux, registration YF58 ZGO, since it was stolen from Redlingfield.

Calls should be made to Bury St Edmunds CID on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.