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Masked men smash into town’s charity hub in early morning raid

PUBLISHED: 13:58 16 October 2020 | UPDATED: 15:09 16 October 2020

Two thieves have been caught on CCTV after smashing their way into The Racing Centre charity in Newmarket. Picture: THE RACING CENTRE

Two thieves have been caught on CCTV after smashing their way into The Racing Centre charity in Newmarket. Picture: THE RACING CENTRE

THE RACING CENTRE

Two masked men have caused severe damage to The Racing Centre charity in Newmarket in an early morning raid.

Police are appealing for witnesses to the break-in at The Racing Centre in Newmarket. Picture: THE RACING CENTREPolice are appealing for witnesses to the break-in at The Racing Centre in Newmarket. Picture: THE RACING CENTRE

The community hub in Fred Archer Way said it is “disappointed” and “frustrated” following the attack on its premises in the early hours of Thursday morning.

The centre had only recently reopened its cafe after undergoing a huge refurbishment and has not been able to host any fundraising events since March due to coronavirus.

Although little is believed to have been stolen, the damage is substantial, with three internal doors needing to be replaced as well as the emergency fire door.

An iPhone and iPad were also taken from the premises and two cash tills were destroyed during the incident.

The Racing Centre in Newmarket was broken into by masked men in an early morning raid. Picture: GOOGLE MAPSThe Racing Centre in Newmarket was broken into by masked men in an early morning raid. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

John Gilbert, the centre’s manager, said even though little was stolen, the cost in repairs will be substantial.

“The damage they left is really frustrating,” said Mr Gilbert. “We are a charity and every £1 counts at the moment with coronavirus.

“It’s very disappointing that this has happened and it is completely unnecessary.”

Mr Gilbert said the cafe was forced to close following the break-in, along with the centre’s rehabilitation rooms.

The centre offers a space for tons of community projects and has recently been focussing on the town’s Covid-19 helpline, safeguarding support and offering free training to groups. On site they also have a range of clubs, including gymnastics, indoor carpet bowls and mini-athletics.

Mr Gilbert added: “We have not done any events since March, so we are trying to hold onto all of the fundraising we can.

“This just dampens the mood and stretches us even further.”

A spokesman for Suffolk police said: “At some point early on Thursday, October 5 between 1am to 2.30am unknown offenders entered The Racing Centre on Fred Archer Way in Newmarket and carried out an untidy search of the main office, cafe and reception area with an iPad and iPhone stolen.

“Anyone who witnessed the incident, saw any suspicious activity or knows who was responsible should contact police, quoting crime reference 37/59926/20.”

Mr Gilbert said the café was now reopen and stressed the centre was open to all.

If you would like to donate to help The Racing Centre during these difficult times, you can do so here.


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