A SPREE of vandalism and thefts that left villagers reeling is being mirrored in other local communities leading to fears of a rising tide of petty crime.
Last week the Standard reported two weekends of serious damage from break-ins and vandalism around Heckington. Now volunteers running nearby Anwick Community Centre say it is becoming a disturbing and more widespread problem.
David Sturton, chairman of the community centre management committee, said: “We had our latest break-in the same weekend as Heckington, on Sunday September 2. They kicked in the two sets of back doors and wrenched them open. They forced open a serving hatch into the kitchen and stuffed paper towels in all the sinks and left the taps running.
“We came in last Monday and were met with two inches of water across the foyer, kitchen and toilets. We couldn’t believe it,” said a dejected Mr Sturton.
Fortunately the water had not reached the main hall or the floorboards would have been ruined. The intruders stole three fire extinguishers, costing £200. These were later found floating in the river nearby.
A storage shed was also broken into and hirings at the centre had to be cancelled during the clean-up.
Only a week before, the community centre had hundreds of gallons of heating oil stolen from its storage tank for the third time in 18 months. This time the the pipe was cut and the top sliced off the tank.
Mr Sturton commented: “It sometimes makes you feel like giving up. Everything costs money to replace and we are on a limited budget. We just don’t know what will put them off.”
The centre will be upgrading security and local beat team leader Pc Keith McLardy said: “We are targeting the area and there has been no further incidents.
“I’m not sure if it was because of the end of summer holidays but we will catch them.”
Anyone with information should contact police on 101.
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