Police appeal after £20,000 worth of kit stolen from horse riding centre
PUBLISHED: 10:15 25 August 2020 | UPDATED: 10:15 25 August 2020
Police are appealing for eyewitnesses and information after £20,000 worth of equipment was stolen from a horse riding centre.
Thieves broke into Hill Farm Riding Centre, on Hackford Road, Hardingham, near Dereham, between 10pm on Friday, August 21 and 7am on Saturday, August 22.
Equipment including 15 saddles, saddle pads and stirrups were stolen after the thieves smashed through doors on two separate buildings in the stable area.
As a result, Maxine Moulding, owner of the family-run centre which opened 10 years ago, has cancelled all horse riding classes for the coming weeks.
She said she had “no idea” when the centre would be able to reopen.
Ms Moulding said: “We were only just above water due to coronavirus and just had enough money to keep the horses going.
“Since reopening after lockdown, up to 80 riders a week have been using the centre. To lose that instant income as well as the value of the goods is a big kick in the teeth.
“It has just stopped our business straight away. I’ve also had to spend the morning contacting people who were due to ride today. They said they were all devastated and feel sorry for us.”
The theft has also affected the employment of one staff member, the horse riding instructor, who is now unable to work after the break in.
Ms Moulding said: “I’m gutted that we can’t do our jobs. It has been a hard year already due to Covid-19 and now we have been hit by this.”
MORE: ‘A kick in the teeth’: riding centre forced to close after £20,000 break-in
She added she felt “angry and upset” when she heard the news of the theft.
She said she believed the thieves had been monitoring the centre as they knew the location of the CCTV camera and flipped it out of view.
Ms Moulding added: “All I can say is that people who have done it can’t be very nice at all, particularly as there is an ongoing pandemic.”
Officers are keen to hear from anyone who may have information about the theft, or noticed anyone acting suspiciously in the area in the days leading up to it.
Anyone with information should contact PC Shannon Cross at Dereham police station on 101 quoting crime reference 36/58349/20.
Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
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