The chairman of a Burgess Hill scout group has expressed his heartache after the club’s hut was hit by thieves for the fourth time.
The 7th Burgess Hill Scout Group meet every week at a hut at St Andrew’s Community Centre in Cants Lane which has been targeted by thieves four times in just two months.
Last month a £500 gazebo was stolen, among other items, which saw the community rally together and raise more than £1,000 to replace the vital equipment. Part of the gazebo has since been found.
Read more here: Burgess Hill scout group targeted by heartless thieves ‘blown away’ by community support
The club’s latest theft happened over the weekend of March 23-24, and items worth up to £900 were stolen.
Chairman Steve Lewsey said: “It is really sad and disappointing that it has happened again. This time they have totally knackered the door frame as they couldn’t get through the new locks, once inside they then cut open a metal cage.
“We spent £200 on making the locks more secure after the last theft – there is no point in spending any more money until we have a more secure premises.
“I will personally offer a reward for any information leading to the successful prosecution of the people that keep doing this.”
Steve said since announcing the theft the community have rallied to help again. “Once again they have been amazing,” he said.
“A huge thank you to Sarah at the preschool for letting me know it had happened again and a huge thanks to my amazing team that sacrificed their day and evening to help me try and prevent this from happening again.”
Steve said the group was now in talks with the council about finding a new and more secure premises for them. “Where we are at the moment is not sustainable,” he said, adding: “We need a proper hall with CCTV – something needs to happen.”
A Sussex Police spokesman said: “An outbuilding used for storage by scouts at St Andrew’s Church in Cants Lane, Burgess Hill, was broken into over the weekend of March 23-24.
“Anyone who witnessed or heard anything suspicious in the area over that weekend is asked to report online or call 101 quoting reference 47190047208.”
Councillor Colin Holden (St Andrews Ward) said: “I am disgusted that this has happened to this scout group again. I am working with the group to identify more secure premises in the medium term which will help prevent such losses in the future.
“Incidentally, the town council had an attempted break in to its equipment store over the weekend and it appeared to me the method of entry was very similar to the scouts. I saw both.”