CALLOUS thieves have caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to Minehead Bowling Club after breaking in overnight.

The lowlifes even resorted to stealing charity tins during the raid.

The burglars broke in to the bowling club overnight between Sunday night and Monday morning.

The damage was found by the caretaker when he arrived at 7.30am on Monday.

Minehead Bowls Club chairman Duncan Stevens described his frustration after seeing the aftermath.

“It was pretty bad, there were two doors smashed - one to enter the building via a step, and one to leave via a ramp,” Mr Stevens said.

“We presume this was to get the safe out on a sack truck, it was ever so heavy, it is unlikely they could have lifted it.”

Somerset County Gazette: Brake in a minehead Bowls Club. 2018.

One of the broken locks

Mr Stevens said it was seemed clear the burglary was pre-planned as opposed to opportunistic, and said there was an indication whoever committed the crime knew the layout of the club.

“They broke into anything that was locked - a lot of which contained bowling equipment or files that we need for the day-to-day running of the club,” Mr Stevens said.

“The alarm was smashed to smithereens and the telephone lines were cut.

“I felt the normal sense of frustration and disappointment, but also just surprise that they took the safe.

“The thieves also took quite a few bottles of spirits as well as, slightly oddly, stealing all of our J20s.

“One of our members had been saving sixpences to go towards Musgrove Park Hospital’s cancer therapy unit and even that was gone.”

Somerset County Gazette:

Duncan Stevens

Mr Stevens said committee and club members were working hard to clear up and keep the club open with as little disruption as possible, but added that it would be a while before the clubhouse was back to normal again.

A police spokesman said: “We were called to a report of a burglary in Irnham Road, Minehead.

“Thieves forced entry sometime between 8pm on August 5 and 7.30am on August 6.

“A quantity of cash was taken. and enquiries are ongoing.

“Anybody with information should call 101 and quote reference 5218/175382.”