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‘Heartbreak’ as raiders strike scout hut stealing £10,000 in equipment

PUBLISHED: 16:18 30 August 2018 | UPDATED: 16:37 30 August 2018

From left to right. Back: Jo Goldbold, Clare Elphick, Joy Grieve, Mary Snow, and Gunta Vorobeja. Front: Troy Godblod, Luke Godblod, Sam Elphick, Rufus Grieve-Watson, Lukass Noreika. Picture: Neil Didsbury

From left to right. Back: Jo Goldbold, Clare Elphick, Joy Grieve, Mary Snow, and Gunta Vorobeja. Front: Troy Godblod, Luke Godblod, Sam Elphick, Rufus Grieve-Watson, Lukass Noreika. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Archant

The theft of more than £10,000 of equipment used by a scout group has been described as “heartbreaking” and “devastating” by volunteers.

The equipment, which included around 22 bows, 200 arrows, seven tents, and other items, was stolen from the 2nd Beccles Scout Group hut near Beccles Station last week.

All of the stolen equipment was paid for with fundraised money and one scout leader estimates it will take around three or four years before it is all fully replaced due to the cost. Keith Covitt, a scout leader for 15 years, said: “I was angry to start with, all that equipment is gone that we use for the children in the community. Archery is a vital part of what we do. I just can’t believe people would do that.”

The group has around 100 members with around 15 leaders volunteering their time to the scouts. Kirsty Tatum, who has been a leader for eight years, said the break-in was “heartbreaking.”

She said: “All the leaders are devastated and the kids don’t know yet. We are going to have to tell the kids that we can’t do these activities any more.

From left to right. Back: Jo Goldbold, Clare Elphick, Joy Grieve, Mary Snow, and Gunta Vorobeja. Front: Troy Godblod, Luke Godblod, Sam Elphick, Rufus Grieve-Watson, Lukass Noreika. Picture: Neil DidsburyFrom left to right. Back: Jo Goldbold, Clare Elphick, Joy Grieve, Mary Snow, and Gunta Vorobeja. Front: Troy Godblod, Luke Godblod, Sam Elphick, Rufus Grieve-Watson, Lukass Noreika. Picture: Neil Didsbury

“It is just heartbreaking that the kids can’t do the activities that we try and do for them. It’s absolutely devastating”

She added: “We actually provide archery for the whole valley and we were meant to do an Archery fun day in September and now we can’t do that and the kids are going to miss out, not just our own group, but the whole region.”

Town mayor Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw said the break-in highlights the need for a police presence in market towns.

She said: “Having spoken to the police I feel like everyone is working very hard to resolve this and it is a reminder that we do need a proper police presence in market towns.

The 2nd Beccles Scout Group hut where £10,000 of equipment was stolen. Picture: Neil DidsburyThe 2nd Beccles Scout Group hut where £10,000 of equipment was stolen. Picture: Neil Didsbury

“These things that happen in communities are really important and £10,000 us a huge amount for a scout club.”

A spokesman for Suffolk Police said: “We were called at around 9.35pm on Tuesday evening to reports of a burglary.

“It is believed to have happened between August 21 and 28. Anyone with information or who witnessed the incident should call 101 and quote CAD reference 457 for August 28.”

Information can also be reported anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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