Gallery: Thieves deal “massive blow” to Whitton United football club
11:00 17 December 2012
BURGLARS have left one of the town’s top amateur football clubs facing a bill expected to run into thousands of pounds following an early-morning raid.
THE raid at Whitton comes just a week after a similar break-in at Ipswich Wanderers, which is based at Humber Doucy Lane.
There was also a raid on Bury Town’s clubhouse at the end of October.
At Ipswich Wanderers raiders also targeted the fruit machines and the drinks behind the bar – they also attempted to steal large televisions in the club bar.
A police spokeswoman said they would be looking at the Whitton United burglary in the context of other incidents, but it was too early to say whether there were any specific connections.
No one has been arrested in connection with the Ipswich Wanderers or Whitton United break-ins.
One man has been arrested in connection with the raid at Bury and is on bail to report back to the police in the new year.
If you have any information relating to either raid, please contact Suffolk police on 101.
The burglars smashed their way into Whitton United in the early hours of Saturday morning, breaking a window and destroying a CCTV camera.
They broke into fruit machines, stealing the floats of cash, before heading to the bar where they broke down the locked doors to steal supplies of drink.
They also tried to destroy the computer CCTV system – although club officials are hopeful that they will be able to recover the hard drive which should have images of the raiders on it.
Club facilities manager Lucky Singh today told The Star he is devastated at the damage caused by the raiders.
He said: “We’ve been trying to build up the club and become a real centre for the community and some people come in and do this.
“It’s dreadful at any time, but especially now. It could take months to recover from this – and you have to wonder why they have done it.
“There wasn’t that much worth stealing. They won’t have got away with much – but for a club like this it’s a massive blow.”
The club’s reserve team match against Hadleigh on Saturday was cancelled to allow members to concentrate on clearing up the clubhouse and making it secure again.
Over recent months the club has managed to invest in its clubhouse which is now available for many more community events.
Dr Dan Poulter, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, has been a keen supporter of the club’s efforts to boost its profile in the local community.
He was shocked to hear the news and said he would do whatever he could to help the club recover.
He said: “This is just dreadful. There are a lot of people at Whitton doing a great job for no financial reward for themselves – they are just trying to build up their club.
“For people to come in and do this, it’s just appalling. I’d like to do whatever I can to help them – I’m sure the people at the club will rally around, but they really don’t deserve this.”
n Do you have a message of support for Whitton United? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail email@example.com