Following the robbery from the changing rooms on the 16th March please can you note the following:
The police suspect a serial offender and it is linked to similar offences at Fylde RUFC and Blackpool RUFC. The offender is described as a more elderly man working alone who pretends he is an official of the club. He is very plausible and offers to look after the valuables for a team and put them behind the bar or go to staff and ask for valuables that have been left in a safe place. Therefore:
Do not trust valuables to anyone you don’t know, even if they have a club tie or gear on.
Please tell the opposition the same. At Fylde the man claimed to be from Fylde to the Cinderford players and claimed to be from Cinderford to the Fylde players.
Do not leave valuables unattended.
Be aware of anyone acting suspiciously around the club.
Police Press Release
Warning after burglaries at sports clubs
POLICE have issued a warning after a series of burglaries targeting sports clubs. And officers have urged all venues to check their security measures and ensure valuables were properly looked after.
The warning follows a series of burglaries which police believe may be linked. The latest was at Fylde Rugby Club, Blackpool Road, Lytham St Annes on Saturday, March 22nd where an offender conned his way into the away players’ changing area and stole £2500 of property including bank cards, wallets, mobile phones, watches and cash. He was extremely confident and even assisted the visiting team carrying training and physio equipment onto the playing area, which will have been witnessed by the crowd.
The thief is described as 50-60 years old, with grey shoulder-length wavy hair, wearing dark blue jeans and a brown jacket. He spoke with a northern accent.
Thieves have also targeted other rugby clubs in the county. Between 7pm and 8.45pm on March 18th an offender went into the changing rooms at Blackpool Rugby Club, Fleetwood Road, Bispham and stole three mobile phones and cash.
Preston Grasshoppers has been targeted twice in the last month. Between 10.45am and 12.15pm on March 16th thieves stole two mobile phones from the changing area; further, between 3.30am and 3.35am on March 13th a thief broke in through a fire door and stole a 3ft silver sword valued at £5,000 (see Note below).
Detective Inspector Warren Atkinson, of Preston Police, said: “While we aren’t sure that these burglaries have been committed by the same person or group of people they do show some similarities and we would warn other sports clubs to be mindful of who they trust valuables to and also to check on their security, such as checking that they have working CCTV, or consider installing some if they don’t already have it.”
“I am keen to hear from anyone who feels they may have information or know the identity of the offender. I would also ask people to have a good look at the sword stolen from Preston Grasshoppers. This is valuable and is extremely rare. It has been at the club since the 1970’s and I would like to return it to the club”
Police are appealing for anyone who recognises the description of the offender or who has any other information to get in touch by calling 101.