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'It was like a warzone': ex-army servicemen's club has £1,500 stolen after break-in

PUBLISHED: 15:59 09 September 2019 | UPDATED: 15:59 09 September 2019

The staff - all family and friends - have called for the community to be vigilant after a spate of break ins. Photo: Matthew Nixon

The staff - all family and friends - have called for the community to be vigilant after a spate of break ins. Photo: Matthew Nixon

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A non-profit community bar has been the latest victim of a robbery after three town pubs were broken into in just two months.

An entrance to the ex-serviceman's club, which was broken into last night. Photo: Matthew NixonAn entrance to the ex-serviceman's club, which was broken into last night. Photo: Matthew Nixon

The Lowestoft Ex-Servicemen's club, on Gordon Road, was broken into between Sunday night and the early hours of Monday, September 9.

Operating as a non-profit members' club, bar staff were 'gutted' to see between £1,200 and £1,500 stolen from its four fruit machines, club lottery, and till floats.

Bar manager Ben Mcconville said: "I've been here since 7am, when I walked in it was just like a warzone. There was glass everywhere, wires hanging out of the fruit machines, the quiz machine was thrown on the floor and ripped to bits. It's terrible.

"It's gutting, with all the hard work you put in, it's like it's all come undone. A lot of the people work here do it out of the good of their hearts."

Bar manager Ben Mcconville said he had never seen anything like this. Photo: Ben McconvilleBar manager Ben Mcconville said he had never seen anything like this. Photo: Ben Mcconville

In August, thieves targeted the furit machines at Fieldy's on Love Road and at Lake Lothing on Rotterdam Road.

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Mr Mcconville said: "The manner it was done in, I think it's connected. I doubt it's personal, just business - let's get the cash and get out. It's heartbreaking."

Mr Mcconville said the people of Lowestoft should "be vigilant", and urged anyone with information to come forward.

The bar manager said The bar manager said "it looked like a warzone" when he came into work. Photo: Ben Mcconville

Long-serving club secretary David Hayhurst added: "Because it's a members club we rarely get outsiders, but the way they came in I don't think they knew the place.

"In 20 years I've never seen anything like this. I think this would have been done by more than one person."

A spokesperson for Suffolk police said: "A break in is thought to have occured between 11.30pm yesterday (Sunday) and 7.30am today, September 9.

"There are reports that gaming machines and fruit machines were broken into, and entry was forced to the building. The suspects may have left by the rear of the premises.

"Criminal enquiries are ongoing, and anyone with information is urged to contact the police on 101 quoting CAD 39 of September 9."

Information can also be given anonymously to the Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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