Hampshire Police release CCTV images after Lymington sports ground break-ins
POLICE are appealing for help to identify the people in these CCTV images following break-ins at Lymington sports grounds.
As reported by the A&T last week, thieves broke into the bowls and tennis pavilions off Avenue Road at around 11.15pm on 5th February.
They made off with around 60 tennis racquets worth thousands of pounds, belonging to Tennis 21 business owner and sport coach Tom Ellis. Some of the racquets were later recovered.
Issuing an appeal for the public’s help, a Hampshire Police spokesperson said: “Do you recognise these people?
“We would like to speak to them in connection with two burglaries in Avenue Road, Lymington, last Monday (5th February) evening.”
The spokesperson said two separate break-ins at the tennis pavilion and bowls pavilion were reported as taking place between 10pm and 11.15pm.
They continued: “At Lymington tennis club, a door handle was broken off in order to gain entry to the building. Three bags of tennis racquets were then stolen.
“A fire exit door at the rear of the bowling club was forced open and subsequently damaged in the process. The clubhouse was then entered, although it’s not believed that any items were stolen on that occasion.
“Officers continue to investigate these incidents and enquiries remain ongoing at this time.
“We believe the people in these images can help us with our investigation and would urge them, or anyone who knows their identity, to get in touch with us.”
Following the burglary, Tom Ellis told the A&T the theft of his racquets had been “frustrating”.
Mr Ellis said he had been storing the racquets in an an upstairs office at the time of the break-in and the thieves had “bizarrely” ignored a flat screen TV and an iPad.
He told the A&T: “It’s annoying to say the least. The thieves broke in through the bowls club and knocked a key safe off the wall.
“They then accessed the clubhouse and got into the office upstairs in the tennis pavilion where I keep my equipment.
“They took three bags full of tennis racquets. We found one of the bags dumped, probably because it’s children’s racquets, so now we’re missing two bags of adult racquets.
“There were about 24 racquets per bag. Second hand they might be worth £30 to £40 per racquet – brand new, the lot would be worth £4,000 to £5,000.”
He added: “These thieves, bizarrely, didn’t seem to take anything else from the club. They walked past a 50-inch TV and an iPad in the club building, just to get into the office and steal my racquets. It doesn’t seem quite right.”
Anyone with information about the break-in - including any CCTV, mobile phone, dash cam or doorbell camera footage - is urged to call the police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, quoting incident number 44240053912 or 44240054132.