Raiders smash through roof of Staffordshire cricket club

A Staffordshire cricket club is counting the cost of a burglary after raiders broke in through their roof and stole a ride-on mower.

Break in at Burntwood St Matthews Cricket Club
Break in at Burntwood St Matthews Cricket Club

Burntwood St Matthews Cricket Club was targeted late on Sunday or in the early hours of Monday.

Raiders prised off the locks and made off with the club's only mower – just as they were starting to plan for the return of cricket when lockdown is eased.

Club chair Matt Hoccom said members were gutted to find out about the break-in at their ground, off Nightingale Walk, Burntwood. And he appealed for anyone who could help them with repairs to the roof and locks to get in touch.

"The main feeling is one of frustration," said Mr Hoccom.

"We are a small club of 20-odd members and for someone to do this is really, really sad.

"Monday was the first day I've had off work all year and to get a phone call first thing in the morning to say 'you'd better come, someone has broken in' is heartbreaking.

Break in at Burntwood St Matthews Cricket Club

"We've heard from a few people in the houses nearby who said they could hear someone trying to start an engine and it looks like it has been driven off across the field to a waiting van."

Mr Hoccom said the thieves also took the mower's grassbox and maybe looking to sell it as a complete unit.

"The most frustrating thing is that the mower is probably not worth a great deal on the second hand market but to a small club like us, it's worth so much more.

"We're going to have to try to find another now and that is obviously going to cost us.

"It's such a shame because I was about to message the members to say things were looking promising that we might get a full season in this year after lockdown and instead I've had to message them to tell them that we've been broken into.

"We've also got the repairs to take care of urgently. If anyone in the area is able to help us with things like repairing the roof or sorting the locks, we'd be massively grateful."

Anyone who can help, can contact Mr Hoccom on 07515 024996. If anyone has information on the missing mower, contact Staffordshire Police quoting crime reference 21210020251.

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