Sports clubs hit in wave of break-ins

Tim Wells, Broadbridge Heath Cricket Club chairman. Photo by Steve Cobb
Tim Wells, Broadbridge Heath Cricket Club chairman. Photo by Steve Cobb

RAIDERS targeted four sports clubs in the Horsham district in the space of a few hours.

Broadbridge Heath Cricket Club, Rookwood Golf Course, Horsham Trinity Cricket Club and Sussex County Cricket Club were all targeted overnight from Friday to Saturday.

At Broadbridge Heath thieves stole a safe containing £80 to £100 from the clubhouse, chairman Tim Wells told the County Times.

The break-in, which happened between 8pm and 7am, was discovered on Saturday morning when the clubhouse door was found crowbarred open.

They also caused damage by breaking into cupboards in the kitchen but none of the alcohol there was taken.

“They obviously could break into the safe even though we have a spare key at the clubhouse which they managed to find. They couldn’t work out how to open the safe with the key and discarded it on the floor.”

Mr Wells described the safe and ‘unwieldy’ adding: “They got a vehicle into the car park and took the safe away with them.”

It also contained three dozen junior league cricket balls, worth about £300, and an old score book. He said the club would be reviewing security.

A spokeswoman for Sussex Police said the safe had been found at a farm in nearby Five Oaks Road and an angle grinder had been used to open it. They had taken the cash but left the balls, she said.

Meanwhile, the pro shop at Rookwood Golf Course in Warnham, was targeted the same night.

Around £100 of chocolate was taken, along with cans of Red Bull.

There was also an attempted break-in at the Horsham Trinity’s pavilion in Victory Road while an ‘unknown amount of cash’ was taken from Sussex County Cricket Club’s ground in Blackstone Lane, near Henfield.

The spokeswoman said the force had stepped up patrols over the weekend at sports and social clubs in the district and were warning clubs not to keep large amounts of cash on the premises.

Information to Sussex Police on 0845 60 70 999 serial 0345 of June 11. Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.