Hooded ramraiders cause £25,000 damage

Ramraiders caused £25,000 of damage at a Norfolk social club to steal a fruit machine containing just £300.

Ramraiders caused £25,000 of damage at a Norfolk social club to steal a fruit machine containing just £300.

The 4x4 vehicle smashed through a conservatory and wall at Mattishall Sports and Social Club at about 1.30am on Tuesday.

The hooded culprits were caught on CCTV.

The attack destroyed the front of the conservatory and damaged the wall so badly it will have to be rebuilt.

Club chairman Keith Hudson was on the scene within five minutes.

"When we arrived and saw what had happened we could not believe it," he said.

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"They have caused about £25,000 of damage, all for the sake of stealing about £300.

"I'd rather they had just knocked on my door and asked for £300 and I would have given it to them. Even with the insurance it will probably cost us about £1,000 which we cannot afford as a small club."

Builders have boarded up the conservatory and the club will continue to open at its normal hours.

"Luckily we have got a real family spirit here and members of the community have been out helping us clear up," said Mr Hudson.

"We cannot afford to close and there is a real determination that we are not going to let anybody shut us down." He estimated it will take about three months to repair the damage.

Police are saying there is a possible link with an attempted burglary just before in Lyng, near Dereham.

Thieves broke into the manager's office at Lakeside Country Club at about 1.15am but were scared off.

Police found property near the site from a vehicle stolen in Sloley, near North Walsham, and believe the attempted burglary could be linked to the vehicle theft.

Sgt Mick Chipperfield said: "This is our first ramraid in the area for about a year. The amount taken was very little compared to the amount of damage that they caused. They do these sort of crimes because they know they can be in and out of the building very quickly."

Anybody with any information should call Dereham CID on 0845 456 4567.

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