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Raiders strike at village sports club

PUBLISHED: 16:28 07 July 2020 | UPDATED: 16:29 07 July 2020

Walsham-le-Willows Sports Club. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Walsham-le-Willows Sports Club. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Burglars forced their way into locked containers and stole grounds maintenance equipment worth around £6,000 at a village sports club in Suffolk.

The burglars cut through the doorr bars on the containers at Walsham-le-Willows Sports Club. Picture: MIKE POWLESThe burglars cut through the doorr bars on the containers at Walsham-le-Willows Sports Club. Picture: MIKE POWLES

The intruders struck at Walsham-le-Willows club after cutting through padlocked doors on two containers plus a compound and took mowers, strimmers, leaf blowers, fuel and other equipment.

They even took distinctive blue and white striped roof panels.

The ground, in Summer Road, is home to the village football, cricket and bowls clubs.

Sports club chairman Mike Powles said they were still assessing what had been taken in the raid, which happened overnight on Tuesday June 30, but so far he estimated equipment worth between £5,000 and £6,000 had been taken.

The distinctive blue and white roof panels taken from Walsjham-le-Willows Sports Club. Picture: MIKE POWLESThe distinctive blue and white roof panels taken from Walsjham-le-Willows Sports Club. Picture: MIKE POWLES

“It’s the inconvenience if anything. You go to use something and then you realise it’s not there. Everything that has gone will all have to be replaced,” he said.

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“A lot of sports clubs get targeted for this sort of thing and it’s very disappointing. A great deal of the stuff has been donated to us and having it makes all the difference as it allows us to get so much done.

“We had proper security locks fitted but there is only so much you can do - a battery-powered angle grinder will cut through most things in a few seconds.”

“The strange thing is they left some stuff behind yet took some old 8ft by 3ft roof panels. They are blue and white and very distinctive so you would definitely need to paint them before you tried selling them on,” he said.

Mr Powles said the club had been broken into before but that was some years ago when fruit machines in the clubhouse were targeted. They have since been taken away.

A spokesman for Suffolk Constabulary confirmed they were investigating.

She said: “The offenders struck some time between 9pm on the night of the 30th and 7.45am the following day.

“They cut through the gate locks and then through the lock bars of the container. Inquiries are ongoing and we would ask anyone with information to contact us.”

Anyone with details should contact police quoting reference number 3673/20.


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