Community football facility suffers second break-in

Community football facility suffers second break-in

By Chris Brayford | 12/05/2022

Community football facility suffers second break-in

 

A STATE of the art community football facility has been targeted for the second time within the space of weeks by criminals, leaving the sports trust running it “heartbroken”.

Parkgate Astro, was broken into just before 12.30am on Saturday, April 30, by a man dressed in black who used a hammer to break the window before entering and stealing £25.

Rotherham United Community Sports Trust said the incident, which happened just hours before the Millers secured promotion, had caused hundreds of pounds of damage.

It came less than two months after would-be burglars smashed their way through a door at the entrance before leaving empty-handed.

The facility was also targeted last August by intruders who rolled up and tried in vain to steal sections of artificial grass.

Jamie Noble, head of community for Rotherham United said: “It’s really sad and heartbreaking for this to happen again.”

A £500 reward has now been put up for any information which leads to the burglar being named and convicted.

“We found someone had tampered with the chain and fencing the day before, so we had to get that secured,” said Jamie.

“We took all the money out for the day except for the £25 float.

“But then I got a call at around 1.30am on Saturday to tell me that the alarm was going off at the facility.

“I watched the thief breaking in on the security camera. He caused a lot of damage by breaking in with a hammer.

“You just feel helpless because there is very little you can do.”

Jamie said that four response vehicles from South Yorkshire Police has been dispatched but the burglar had long gone by the time they arrived.

He said despite the break-in, the sports trust had been determined to keep activities going for youngsters training within hours of the incident.

“What hurts the most is that we run projects and activities for the community,” he said.

“We have 200 kids taking part in football activities here.

“After the break-in, there was glass everywhere and we had activities planned on the morning this incident happened. It has affected our community as a whole.

“We wanted to make sure that the kids were able to come and play and didn’t miss out because of one man’s actions.

“I’m having a meeting to see if we can have alarms on the fencing to help us stop people from breaking in because something like this only happened in March.

“It’s causing damage, which costs us around £700 to put right.

“It is money that is being taken out of the community at the end of the day, which isn’t right.”

Jamie said other businesses in Parkgate had been targeted recently, with the public asked to “self police” because of the lack of resources available to South Yorkshire Police.

He said: “The likes of Aldi, B&M and Asda have been recent victims along with some small businesses in the area.

“We want this crime to end and we want to help South Yorkshire Police to bring this man to justice with a reward for any further information from the photos and video on our Facebook page.

“We need more police patrols but we do understand they have limited resources available to them.

“Like at the football, we are requiring people to feel safe by self policing.”  

Police confirmed enquiries were ongoing but urged anyone with information to contact them on 101 quoting incident number 97 of April 30.



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