Trail of destruction after thieves break into Wombourne Leisure Centre
Raiders broke into a leisure centre, taking thousands of pounds worth of property and leaving a trail of damage.
A gang broke into Wombourne Leisure Centre in Ounsdale Road. They took the safe containing £2,000, a stereo valued at around £1,000, vending machine contents and swimming goggles.
The raiders forced their way in through the automatic doors in the early hours of Thursday and smashed the doors inside along with the vending machines.
The centre, one of four that are owned by South Staffordshire Council, was closed for a day and a half before reopening again on Friday afternoon.
A post on the centre's Facebook page reads: "Unfortunately the centre was not in a good state, quite a bit of damage was done and the morning has been taken up with police and forensics.
"We are in the process of trying to clear things up and will post more regarding opening times as soon as we can. So sorry everyone and thank you for your support."
Councillor Mary Bond, cabinet member for community services, said: "It is a nuisance and unfortunately they targeted our leisure centre.
"They broke the glass as well as the vending machines and in order to get the safe out of the building, they broke the front doors plus they cut the telephone lines.
"It was a planned attack rather than opportunistic. Unfortunately, we had to close because they made a bit of a mess but we were open again by 3.30pm on Friday which I think is quick work.
"What I will say is misinformation is circulating regarding the closure of the local police station and officers having to come from Cannock and Stafford. When it does close, the police station will be open in the civic centre which will be even closer to the town.
"South Staffordshire and Wombourne are fairly crime free. I do not think there is an epidemic."
Staffordshire Police are appealing for witnesses following the burglary.
A force spokesman said: "At around 1.15am on Thursday (9 August) unknown offenders approached the secure premises on Ounsdale Road and gained entry by forcing their way through the automatic front doors.
"Once inside, the thieves made an untidy search of the reception area and office, and smashed other internal doors and vending machines.
"A number of items were stolen during the burglary including a large 2ft x 2ft heavy duty grey safe containing over £2,000 cash, a stereo valued at around £1,000, vending machine contents and assorted swimming goggles.
"The damage caused to several windows and doors is estimated to be in excess of £2,000."
The spokesman said officers were lookign at CCTV which appeared to show four offenders all wearing dark clothing with hoodies, one in shorts, and a white Transit van at the scene.
Anyone with information is asked to call Staffordshire Police on 101 quoting incident 45 of 9 August.