‘Professionals’ hit cricket club safes

BREAK IN: Bar Chariman Matthew McKirgan with one of the safes that was opened.
BREAK IN: Bar Chariman Matthew McKirgan with one of the safes that was opened.

Thieves stole more than £3,000 from an amateur cricket club after breaking in by cutting a hole in the roof.

The culprits targeted East Bierley Cricket Club just before midnight on Sunday, cracking two safes and causing thousands of pounds of damage to the clubhouse in what has been described as a “very professional” burglary.

Police believe the thieves broke through the flat roof above the cellar.

They then used metal cutting equipment to open the safes, using nearby bottles of spirits as coolants.

The burglars took £3,500 from the safes and also stole bottles of spirits before pouring bleach over the scene and leaving through the roof.

Matthew McKirgan, bar chairman at the club, said: “It’s difficult for us, the place is run by volunteers and anything like this takes an awful lot of work to fix.”

Mr McKirgan believes the thieves struck after seeing how busy they were on Sunday, with punters flocking to watch Bradford City in the League Cup final at the club.

“It was no secret that any place showing the football would have a reasonable amount of cash,” he said,

“The safes alone were worth £3,000 and there was £1,000 of damage to the club and other equipment.

“As well as the damage, the loss of trade is quite severe at a time when pubs and clubs are already struggling.”

The latest break-in comes just months after the club was burgled in late 2012. On that occasion thieves got in through a window and stole cash, alcohol and television sets.

Mr McKirgan said: “I’m 90 per cent sure it may have been the same people, it was very professional.

“They were more specific this time. They must have had a good look around last time they were in and identified a weakness.”

Anyone with information can call the police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.