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Tenterden Cricket Club targeted by yobs who stole Hospice in the Weald collection tin

By Rachael Woods

Yobs smashed their way into a cricket club causing thousands of pounds of damage as well as emptying a hospice collection tin.

The callous thieves caused havoc at Tenterden Cricket Club as they broke in through a window to the women's toilets ripping off the metal security bars and damaging the surrounding walls.

Once inside they emptied the till and broke into the safe making off with a small amount of cash.

A garage door has been prised open
A garage door has been prised open

They swiped the Sunday players' collection pot containing small 'fines' that were forfeited for lateness, failure to catch a ball or getting a duck. All the contributions were being saved up for a big night out, while the captain's collection bottle containing coins and the odd note was taken.

A Hospice in the Weald charity tin was emptied and discarded outside the premises along with the captain's collection bottle.

Ground maintenance equipment was stolen and damaged in the raid that happened last Wednesday, when the club's garage door was prised open leaving it warped.

Businessman Guy Day, is treasurer of the premier league club that traces its roots back to 1840. He said: "What has happened is pretty gutting. A lot of cricket clubs have been targeted and it's brutal.

The discarded Hospice in the Weald tin and captain's bottle
The discarded Hospice in the Weald tin and captain's bottle

"The people who have done this have a total lack of understanding of the negative effects they have caused.

"It has cost the club money and it will take up the time of volunteers to clear up and make repairs."

The raid has caused damage estimated in the region of £3,000.

Mr Day said: "It (the break-in) has put us at a standstill and after all the repairs have been done we will just be getting back to where we were before."

The metal security bars have been ripped off the toilet window
The metal security bars have been ripped off the toilet window

The club, where there was a failed raid in 2016, will now be bricking up the window to the women's toilets to fortify the premises.

Tenterden Cricket Club in Smallhythe Road has around 100 adult members ranging from the age of 18 to almost 70, while more than 40 colts are registered to the outside nets.

Mr Day, who said that volunteers were the backbone of the successful club, added: "Our insurance premiums will go up because of this and we will never get back the full value of what we have lost."

A police spokesman said: "We have received a report of a burglary at a cricket club in Smallhythe Road in Tenterden.

The till was emptied at the cricket club
The till was emptied at the cricket club

It was reported at 9.50am on Wednesday, October 3, 2018, that cash had been stolen from the premises overnight.

Enquiries are ongoing.

Ben Price, the club's ex-captain has since donated £50 to the Hospice in the Weald and Tweeted: "Have donated £50 to @hospiceweald to hopefully make up for some of what was lost in the tin. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help."

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 01843 222289, quoting 03-0376.

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