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Thieves drove car into Tenterden Bowls Club gates and broke into Tenterden Town Council shed in Recreation Ground Road

Masked thieves churned up a pristine bowling green after driving across it and then smashing through the club's metal gates.

The incident happened just after midnight in Tenterden at the town's bowls club where members say they feel "upset and frustrated" at the damage.

The churned-up bowling green
The churned-up bowling green

Before the rampage at the club the gang had broken into the town council's nearby maintenance shed, taking a haul of strimmers, drills and leaf-blowers.

Bowls club member Philip Jeffrey said: "It's very upsetting and frustrating as we have just got the green looking nice – ready for the start of the season in April –and now it will need major repair work."

CCTV was installed in the bowls club in September after a run of break-ins and petty vandalism at the Recreation Ground Road venue.

Claire Gilbert, deputy town clerk said the stolen equipment belonging to Tenterden Town Council was vital to the maintenance of the recreation ground as well as green spaces in the town and that new equipment would have to be bought.

She added that the thieves had also damaged the recreation ground and football pitch by driving across the area.

Thieves drove a car at the metal gates at the bowls' club entrance
Thieves drove a car at the metal gates at the bowls' club entrance

The incident comes just over a week after thieves used a Honda 4x4 to smash their way into Culverwells country store in Leigh Green Industrial Estate, Appledore Road, Tenterden, when 15 chainsaws were among equipment reported as stolen.

A police spokesman said: "We have received a report a building in Tenterden High Street was burgled at around 12.15am on Friday, January 10.

"A quantity of garden tools are reported to have been stolen.

"At present no arrests have been made."

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 01843 222289 quoting reference 46/5870/20, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555 111 or using the anonymous online form at Crimestoppers-uk.org

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