CHARD AREA NEWS: Football club officials left upset after break-in
PLAYERS, team managers and volunteers at Combe St Nicholas Football Club have been left reeling after masked thieves broke into their clubhouse at the weekend.
Police were called when the club was found to have been targeted in the early hours of Sunday (July 15, 2018) morning.
The alarm had been ripped from the wall and put in a bucket of water, while CCTV images captured the looters making off with the club's television, safe, booze and even charity collection tins.
Football club chairman Luc Logan said: "Obviously it's extremely disappointing for these people to target a small community club like Combe. The committee is made up of volunteers who work hard to provide great facilities for men's, women's, and youth football, and to have found our clubhouse trashed in such a way is really upsetting.
“I'd like to thank all of the local clubs who have been in touch to offer their support, and would offer in return the advice to keep a close watch on clubhouses and other community assets - we may be rivals on the pitch, but when we are attacked in this way, we are all 'Team Local'.
“Our dedicated committee and friends will now work hard to repair the damage and prepare the clubhouse for what is already promising to be a really exciting and positive season on the pitch for Combe St Nicholas."
PHOTO – TOP: Luc Logan and Andrew Denning assess the damage at Combe St Nicholas FC.
PHOTOS - RIGHT & BELOW: The culprits in action.
The break-in was discovered by club volunteer Andrew Denning and his wife on Sunday morning when they were walking the dog and picking up litter around the pitch at about 9am.
The break-in started at just after midnight and the intruders spent just over an hour on the premises – according to the CCTV timings.
A club spokesman said: “It appears that they used stolen Vauxhall Astra, as one was torched and Chard fire brigade put out the fire at 3am the same morning at the bottom on Windwhistle.”
Stolen goods include LED TV, bottles of spirits, wines, beers, ciders and lagers, as well as soft drinks and sweets. They also stole two charity collecting tins that were nearly full and about to be handed over to the charities.
The spokesman added: “They were a very professional crime duo. Climbed on the roof to cut telephone lines, smashed alarm sounder off the gable end and placed it in large bucket of water to kill the sound, before breaking in through a high security five-deadlock insurance-approved door.
“Then they smashed the internal alarm system and the internal CCTV camera.”
Anyone with information please call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800-555-111. The crime reference number is - 5218157415.
PHOTOS - ABOVE: The CCTV images from Combe St Nicholas FC.