Wheathampstead Archery Club targeted by thieves for second break-in

PUBLISHED: 17:00 20 September 2017 | UPDATED: 17:17 20 September 2017

Wheathampstead Archery Club

Wheathampstead Archery Club

Archant

Young archers have been left all a-quiver after thieves stole a haul of 12 beginner’s kits from a village club.

Pictures from Wheathampstead Archery Club's have-a-go day. Pictures from Wheathampstead Archery Club's have-a-go day.

The Wheathampstead Archery Club, based in Folly Fields, is believed to have been targeted between September 10 to 16 as no club members or coaches had visited their storage unit during that period.

The club was previously burgled in October 2015, when beginners’ archery sets were also taken, after which improved storage facilities were introduced.

Club treasurer Joanna Hunt said: “In December 2015 the club replaced their old wooden shed with a metal container following the first theft; bar bolted with the bows stored in secure cabinets, which was clearly ineffective.”

The storage unit is at the top of Folly Fields where the club is held, and with no electricity the storage unit has no CCTV or alarms to warn thieves away.

Pictures from Wheathampstead Archery Club's have-a-go day. Pictures from Wheathampstead Archery Club's have-a-go day.

She suspects the raid was a well-thought out and organised job as security for the equipment had been significantly increased: “It’s so upsetting, when it happens once you improve security and hope it never happens again, then it happens twice and you feel defeated.

“We don’t know what to do; do we stop the beginners’ courses? We’re one of the cheapest in the country but with the equipment being stolen it’s just costing us money.”

A single beginner’s kit costs around £120 to buy, so the total cost to replace them is around £1,440.

Following the theft not only will the club have to find the money to replace the kits, but they will not be able to run have-a-go sessions or beginner sessions, causing further financial losses.

The club was due to hold an emergency meeting tonight to discuss their options and Joanna added: “The club is an integral part of the Wheathampstead community, this summer it offered archery at the village fair, and has run two have-a-go days and two beginners’ sessions. I and the members are disheartened that this has happened.”

It is believed that the burglars will attempt to sell the kits, but bows stolen from the club are etched with numbers and letters on the side. Herts police say enquiries are ongoing and anyone with information should call the non-emergency number 101, quoting crime reference F2/17/1769.

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