Thieves caught on CCTV smashing their way into club through the CEILING

Burglars broke into a club through the ceiling before leaving with a haul of items which had been set to raise cash for Armed Forces servicemen and woman past and present.

By Fiona Thompson
Monday, 12 August, 2019, 13:24

The pair broke into Houghton Sports and Social Club just before 1.15am on Friday, August 9, and damaged its pool table to get to coins and stole cash from its till and left a repair bill of £750.

But they also snatched £250 worth items including bottles of drink which had been destined to become prizes in aid of SSAFA.

The Armed Forces charity, formerly known as the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association, works across the UK to provide support to serving men and woman and veterans and their families and dependants.

Houghton Sports and Social Club manger Julie Thompson inside the damaged club following a break in

Women from the club have been rallying round to collect the items and are now working hard to replace them in time for the weekend, when an evening of entertainment will be held at the venue on Saturday, August 17, and a day of celebrations to be hosted on Sunday, August 18.

Julie Walker, the club’s manager, has been among those who have been putting together the plans for the fundraiser with support from Houghton Memorial Fund.

“We wanted to raise some money for SSAFA so for the last few weeks we have been bringing in donations,” she said.

“It’s absolutely heartbreaking and we’re all in our 60s, we’ve all be working like Trojans to bring stuff in.

CCTV released by Houghton Sports and Social Club as it helps the police appeal to find the burglars.

“But we will carry on regardless of it, it will take more than this for us to stop.

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“We just think you see on the telly, these old soldiers who have given their lives for these young people and then they come in and steal stuff people have donated.

“It’s just disgusting.”

The Saturday night event for SSAFA will feature a 60s singer, while the Sunday event, which will run from 1pm to 8pm, will include a performance by the Houghton Pipe Band, raffles, tombolas, stalls, a bouncy castle and a bric-a-brac sale.

Can you help Northumbria Police investigate the burglary at Houghton Sports and Social Club.

Northumbria Police has asked anyone with information about the break-in to the Leyburn Grove venue to call 101 quoting incident 40 of 090819 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Houghton Sports and Social Club manger Julie Walker has said the fundraisers are determined to make a success of SSAFA event despite the set back.
Houghton Sports and Social Club manger Julie Thompson inside the damaged club following a break in
Houghton Sports and Social Club manger Julie Walker inside the damaged club following a break in
Houghton Sports and Social Club manger Julie Walker inside the damaged club following a break in