Mowers worth thousands stolen from Shropshire cricket club for second time - with video
Cricket club volunteers have been left devastated after thieves stole mowers worth thousands of pounds for the second time in 11 months.
Players and officials at Forton Cricket Club, which competes in Division Two of the Shropshire Cricket League, have been left counting the cost after the latest raid, which took place in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
Police, players and volunteers were alerted to the theft by a messaging system from the alarms installed after the previous theft, but unfortunately the thieves were able to get away with two mowers and a strimmer – equipment vital to the club.
Club secretary, Keith Williams, who has held the position for the past 40 years, said the potential impact on the club was huge, and was added to the frustration of not being able to prepare the pitch for forthcoming fixtures.
He said: "We have nothing left to do any of the preparation of the square. We're trying to get help from elsewhere. We have got offers from clubs in Staffordshire and Shropshire to help us.
"At the moment it means we cannot prepare the track for games at the weekend or midweek.
"The outfield and the square, everything has to be perfect. If not it can lead to accidents."
Staffordshire Police are trying to track down those responsible and have been carrying out forensic tests in an effort to catch the thieves.
Mr Williams said that a second theft in such a short time was heartbreaking for the club members and supporters who raise money for vital equipment.
He said: "When I heard the news, I have been secretary of this club for 40 years, I was absolutely devastated, and my wife who is assistant secretary was absolutely heartbroken.
"We have worked all the years of our lives involved with this club then you come and get yourself kicked from one side of the field to the other by these people who ruin the game for us."
Staffordshire Police say they received a call at 2am on Tuesday.
Anyone with information is asked to call 101.