Thieves take £4,000 from Leeds cricket club after sawing hole in the roof

Thieves sawed through the roof of Hall Park Cricket Cafe and Bar.
Thieves sawed through the roof of Hall Park Cricket Cafe and Bar.
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Thieves broke into a popular Leeds cricket club less than 48 hours after an Easter fundraiser.

Club secretary Rob Hodson said the Hall Park Cricket Club Cafe and Bar, Horsforth, had been dealt a 'devastating blow' after the break-in on Monday night.

Cutting into the closet meant the alarm system at the club was not triggered.

Cutting into the closet meant the alarm system at the club was not triggered.

Around £4,000 - raised on the Easter Sunday family fun day - and all the CCTV tapes have been taken after vandals cut a three foot hole in the roof.

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They targeted a small closet where the safe is kept and were able to bypass the alarm system - leading Mr Hodson to believe the culprits have a good knowledge of how the club works.

"The Easter weekend was a real success for us," he said. "These people knew exactly what they were going for. They knew they would not trigger the alarm system in the closet.

"It is just a devastating blow for us."

Mr Hodson occasionally sleeps at the club and suspects the culprits may have been put off on Sunday evening after seeing his car.

He left the club at 8.30pm on Monday night.

The club cleaner alerted Mr Hodson to debris in the toilets in the early hours of Tuesday morning, but it was not until his wife went to open up at 10am that it became clear what had happened.

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The vandals pulled away most of the wall which the safe was attached to before smashing it open.

"This is not an opportunist," Mr Hodson added. "They sawed that hole in exactly the right place.

"If it is someone who uses the club facilities, it will be absolutely crippling.

"The trouble is when something like this happens, you have to distrust everyone involved, but you can't go on like that."

He added: "At least no on was hurt. God knows what might have happened if I had been there."

The club and cafe/bar has become a focal point in Horsforth, regularly hosting community events for all ages.

All funds raised are ploughed back into the club. The toilets and bar area have been refurbished recently.

Mr Hodson is appealing for anyone with information to get in touch.

He added: "I am certain someone will know something. Even if they haven't done it, someone will have information.

"Perhaps someone walks into a pub a bit flush, or someone's girlfriend has heard something. Any information will be gratefully received."

The club has been targeted before. In 2015 thieves stole three lawn mowers worth over £10,000.

The cafe and bar is open as usual this week.

The club posted on Facebook: "We would like everyone to share this post as someone somewhere will know who was responsible for this despicable act and we urge them to come forward with any information.

"This will not deter us from providing a service for our valuable members and the people of Horsforth and we will catch these people and put them to justice."