Leeds cricket club’s burglary foiled by police

CLOSE CALL: David Hodgson, right, pictured with club chairman Nick Davis in 2014.
CLOSE CALL: David Hodgson, right, pictured with club chairman Nick Davis in 2014.
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A cricket club in Leeds was moments away from losing valuable groundskeeping equipment when police disturbed a team of burglars.

Officers found two vans loaded up with gear, which had been removed from a storage container at Kirkstall Educational Cricket Club.

The vans were parked at the bottom of the grounds in Queenswood Road, which are known as the Field of Dreams.

Items loaded up included a tractor, four mowers, a lawn spiking machine, a strimmer and a leaf blower.

David Hodgson, club president and groundsman, said: “When the police arrived, the perpetrators did a runner and the engines on the vans were actually still running.

“That’s how near we were to losing everything.”

Founded in 1853, the club acts as the educator of the Airedale and Wharfedale Senior Cricket League as well as running various teams of its own.

It has suffered numerous break-ins during the past three or four years, with a series of burglaries in 2014 threatening the club with financial ruin. What made the difference this time was a nearby resident who spotted the vans.

Mr Hodgson said: “We’re so grateful to this neighbour who called the police. We are really indebted to her.

“We’re trying to foster good relationships with the local community, so that was brilliant.”

A West Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said officers were called to reports of a burglary at the club on July 25, shortly after 11pm.

“Police have recovered two white vans from the scene and enquires are ongoing.”

Anybody who has information is urged to call 101.

Paula Dillon, President of Leeds Chamber Commerce.

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