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Christmas club cash fears

PUBLISHED: 23:07 16 December 2002 | UPDATED: 13:12 03 March 2010

FEARS are growing that Christmas club cash stolen by burglars could amount to much more than £21,000.

Suffolk Police are today investigating a burglary involving £21,000 on December 6.

FEARS are growing that Christmas club cash stolen by burglars could amount to much more than £21,000.

Suffolk Police are today investigating a burglary involving £21,000 on December 6.

The Evening Star has offered a £500 reward to anyone supplying information leading to the arrest and conviction of the culprits.

Club organiser Steve Roberts, 39, of Orwell Gardens, had popped to the pub leaving a kitchen window open when the cash was stolen.

He had taken the money home, to prepare to hand it out to friends and colleagues to buy Christmas treats with.

Mr Roberts was said to be feeling suicidal by concerned friends.

Today we can reveal that about 60 people, including 40 from the Manor Ballroom Club, Ipswich, and workers at the Port of Felixstowe, are believed to have been members of Mr Robert's club.

One worker from B shift at the Port of Felixstowe - from which the cash was collected over the year - said: "I wasn't in the club and not everyone on the shift was contributing, but a fair number of people were giving every week.

"One man told me he had been expecting £900 this month and another nearly £1,500 - he was going to take his family to EuroDisney for a real treat. It's heartbreaking because you put the money away and it's good way of saving. I know a lot of the men involved are going to go to the police with the details of what they have lost."

Another worker, who lost "several hundred pounds", said: "I just cannot believe it. It's an awful thing to have happened - that money was going to pay for Christmas. That was the whole point to me of a Christmas club. I know others spend it on all sorts of things, but I just like to know that Christmas is covered and you don't have to worry at the last minute about how to pay for it.

"We will still have Christmas and it won't make any difference except that this money would have paid for it. Now we will be short. I feel very upset."

The Evening

Anyone with any information about the crime, which happened between 6pm and 7.40pm on December 6, is asked to call police on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

N If you are one of the people to have lost money from Felixstowe Port then telephone Richard Cornwell on 01394 284109.

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