GOLFERS at two clubs in South Tyneside are counting the cost after tens of thousands of pounds worth of maintenance equipment were stolen.
Thieves have made off with more than £40,000 of equipment, including industrial steamers and lawn mowers, in five separate raids at Whitburn and Boldon golf clubs.
Chris Brown, manager of Boldon Golf Club in Dipe Lane, said: “In total, we’ve had more than £40,000 worth of equipment stolen from our sheds.
“Thieves have entered by coming in through the roof. They’ve known exactly what they want.
“This has been a devastating blow for both of the clubs. We are a not-for-profit organisation, any little bit of cash we make goes straight back into the club.”
“While we are insured for the items, our premiums will be going up, and it’s going to be our members who end up suffering.
“I urge anyone who knows anything, or who has been offered these items to go to the police. ”
The first theft happened between 8.30am on Sunday, January 11, and 7am on Monday, January 12, at a shed belonging to Whitburn Golf Club in Lizard Lane,
Thieves forced their way in and stole a Husqvarna strimmer, a Flymo and Allan lawn mower, a generator, a compressor, a Dell laptop, Stihl saw, a battery booster, a Dori scarifier and a Spalding socket set. A second break-in happened at a large shed at Boldon Golf Club, between 8.30am on Sunday, January 18, and 7.15am on Monday, January 19.
Again, entry was forced and thieves stole; four strimmers, two rotavators, two generators, a large water pump, reciprocator, three squeegees, heater, diesel fuel, water pump and diesel tank gauge.
The third also occurred at a shed at Boldon and happened between 9pm and 9.10pm on Monday, January 19, when a leaf blower was taken.
The fourth incident, an attempted burglary, happened at a work shed at Whitburn’s course between 3.15pm on Wednesday, January 21, and 7am on Thursday, January 22.
The final theft happened between 10.25pm and 10.30pm on Thursday, January 22, at an outhouse at Boldon, when offenders stole an Alto steam cleaner, drill and angle grinder.
A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: “Police are appealing for witnesses anyone who was in the relevant areas when these offences took place and who may have seen or heard anything suspicious is asked to contact them.
“We would also like to hear from anyone who may be offered these items for sale, to contact police.
Anyone with information should contact police on 101, extension 69191, quoting reference number 3650Y/15 or ring the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.