Thieves raid St Albans sports facilities and cause £5,000 damage

PUBLISHED: 08:56 17 November 2009 | UPDATED: 14:39 06 May 2010

THIEVES have smashed their way into the pavilion and changing rooms at the William Bird Open Space football pitches for the second time. The raid was discovered on Saturday morning when council contractors John O Conner Ltd arrived at the facilities in To

THIEVES have smashed their way into the pavilion and changing rooms at the William Bird Open Space football pitches for the second time.

The raid was discovered on Saturday morning when council contractors John O'Conner Ltd arrived at the facilities in Toulmin Drive, St Albans, to find the building was flooded because a large quantity of copper piping had been cut and removed.

As a result of the break-in, the nine football pitches and changing rooms will be closed for up to two weeks while the heating and pipes are repaired.

The last time thieves raided the facilities the cost of repairs and reinforcements to the skylight was in excess of £5,000, but the added security failed to prevent this second break-in. Repairs are once again estimated to be in the region of £5,000, and will include further reinforcements to the skylights.

Cllr Sheila Burton, portfolio holder for sport and healthy living said: "It is very sad that thieves and vandals have caused all this damage for a second time, disrupting the local football teams' games for a couple of weeks. Once again football matches have had to be cancelled whilst the damage is repaired."

Police are investigating the theft. If anyone has any information which could help catch the thieves please call police on the non-emergency number 0845 33 00 222, alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Clubs who may wish to book the pitches or find out about lettings or opening hours, can telephone John O'Conner Ltd on 0800 345 7405 or 01727 847394.

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