Staff launch Facebook initiative to catch thieves after Harpenden play centre burglary

TEENAGE staff at a Harpenden children’s indoor play centre have launched a Facebook quest to help catch a thief who swiped their wages in a brazen daylight burglary at the weekend.

TEENAGE staff at a Harpenden children’s indoor play centre have launched a Facebook quest to help catch a thief who swiped their wages in a brazen daylight burglary last weekend weekend.

The furious owner of Big Space Harpenden, Lester Adams, said his centre in the Southdown Industrial Estate was burgled for the fifth time in as many years at around 4pm last Saturday.

The break-in was captured on CCTV, with footage showing a portly man wearing a baseball cap, with a tattoo on his right forearm, allegedly clutching money from a safe in the centre’s office.

Big Space Harpenden was celebrating its fifth anniversary at the weekend when the young staff of 16, 17 and 18-year-olds discovered that while they were busy looking after visitors including youngsters, the unmanned office was broken into in broad daylight with the thief taking their wages from a safe.


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Lester said that while no-one was hurt staff had been “shocked and spooked” by the incident.

He said: “How dare he, and on our birthday. Any of my staff could have walked in that door, how dare he.”

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Lester, who featured on a television programme late last year entitled Kidnapped By The Kids which showed what a workaholic he was and how he missed out on family time, said he has had “enough” of break-ins at the activity centre.

Ironically he was spending some rare quality time with his children when the burglary occurred.

Staff hope someone will recognise the man who was filmed in “brilliant” CCTV footage allegedly taking their pay from the office, which they have since posted on Facebook.

The thief took hundreds of pounds of staff wages, said Lester, who described how CCTV footage showed the man force open the locked office door before rummaging through drawers, opening the safe and taking cash out.

A spokeswoman for Herts Police said enquiries about the burglary were ongoing and asked anyone with information to phone Herts Police on 0845 3300 222 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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