Appeal after thieves target cricket club's kit

PUBLISHED: 10:00 16 April 2015

Cricket bat and ball

Cricket bat and ball

Archant

VILLAGE cricketers have been left 'devastated' and 'shocked' after thieves broke into their club grounds and stole gardening equipment worth thousands of pounds.

Two specialist lawnmowers, which are worth approximately £6,000, were taken on Saturday night from Banwell and Churchill Cricket Club’s grounds in Ladymead Lane, Churchill. The club had only purchased one of the machines a week earlier.

Club secretary Mike Legg said: “We are absolutely devastated. We have been doing a lot of fundraising in the last few years to try to improve our facilities, and there is lots of cricket planned for this summer.

“We got one of these mowers just a week ago. It had only just been imported into the country.

“Our groundsman had been using it all week, and he discovered it had been taken when he came in on Sunday morning to prepare for our tournament that afternoon.

“They ripped through a wire fence, destroyed our hedges and then kindly helped themselves to £6,000 of equipment.

“The police said it was almost certainly planned and the culprits had probably seen the groundsman using the mowers during the week.

“The mowers are big, heavy pieces of kit and it is strange that the thieves did not take the keys. It would have taken at least four men to move each one of them.”

The break-in meant the club was forced to cancel a cricket session this week for students at Churchill Academy and Sixth Form. It has also been forced to postpone a youth team match.

Mr Legg added: “The first people it has impacted are the children, and we just hope we can start our league in the next two weeks.

“I couldn’t sleep on Sunday night – we are just shocked. We thought we were safely secure, but obviously this is not the case.”

The stolen mowers are Countax H600 and Masport 500 PPR Golf EU models. Anyone with information should contact the police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111, or report it online here.

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