Sports

Second burglary in a month leaves cricket club ‘devastated’

Burglars have targeted a popular cricket club for the second time in less than a month, getting away thousands of pounds of machinery.

The intruders smashed their way into Ynysygerwn’s machinery room in the dead of night before stealing a mini-tractor and mower, and a haul of petrol mowers and strimmers together worth around £20,000.

The burglary is the second time the Neath Valley club has been broken into in four weeks – in early May thieves got away with power tools, a trailer, red diesel, and rolls of specialist artificial wicket turf also worth more than £20,000.

Police are appealing for anyone with information about Tuesday’s raid to come forward.

The break-in was discovered just after 5am when a volunteer turned up at the Aberdulais club to do some painting in the cool of the early morning.

Howard Bowden, secretary of the sports and social club, said the intruders appeared to have forced entry to the machine room – which is part of the changing rooms building – and then once inside opened another door and removed a Kubota BX2200 mini-tractor and mower, along with five or six petrol mowers and stimmers.

Burglars forced their way into the machinery room at Ynysygerwn cricket club and stole a mini-tractor, mowers and strimmers

He said: “We are absolutely stunned, to be honest.

“All through the lockdown our members have been working hard, painting the clubhouse, landscaping the grounds, and keeping the pitch in good condition – the club looks an absolute picture at the moment.

“To have this happen again is absolutely devastating – it’s soul destroying.”

Mr Bowden said a white or silver van with one broken light was seen in the area between 4am and 4.40am on Tuesday – it is believed it drove away from the club up the Neath Valley towards Resolven and Glynneath.

It is not yet known whether this week’s raid is linked to the May 4 burglary which saw thieves steal nine large rolls of green artificial cricket turf – worth up to £12,000 – a twin-axle trailer, a large collection of power tools, and up to 200 litres of red diesel.

Watch a burglar jump with fright as he’s caught red-handed:

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That theft happened on the same night as a break-in on a farm a few miles away in the Dulais Valley which saw £6,000 worth of tools, clothing, and gazebos belonging to Woodland Trust Cymru being taken.

Police are urging anyone with information about Tuesday’s break-in to come forward.

A spokeswoman for South Wales Police said: “We received a report of a break in at Ynysygerwen cricket club which happened overnight on the night of June 1 and June 2. A number of items including a tractor were reported stolen.

“We are appealing for anyone with information to contact us.”

Can you help? Call South Wales Police on 101 quoting reference 2000192814

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