Thieves steal £2k of council equipment - ‘theft hurts the whole community’

South Elmsall town council premises were broken in to. Thieves took petrol strimmers and grass cutters which the council use to maintain elderly people's homes and the grass at Frickley football pitches.'Pictured is grounds team manager Clive Hitchinson
South Elmsall town council premises were broken in to. Thieves took petrol strimmers and grass cutters which the council use to maintain elderly people's homes and the grass at Frickley football pitches.'Pictured is grounds team manager Clive Hitchinson

Thieves broke into an outbuilding at South Elmsall Town Council and stole £2,000 worth of equipment.

They took three petrol garden strimmers, a smaller strimmer and two hedge cutters after ransacking a shed on the council premises at the Social Centre on Westfield Lane.

The council uses the equipment to help maintain community green space as well as to manage Frickley Athletic’s ground and cut the grass at homes of elderly people.

Town Clerk Clare Baxter said: “The theft was as upsetting for us as it is for the wider community.

“We use that equipment to help maintain our town and until we get those items replaced, then there is going to be an impact.

“We normally go to the properties of elderly people to cut their grass and we maintain the football pitches for Frickley, so it does affect everybody in the community.”

The thieves struck on the evening of Sunday, January 3. Council staff were alerted to the break-in after the intruders triggered a security alarm on the site.

Ms Baxter said: “The alarm had been triggered a night or so before at around 4.30am in the early hours of Saturday morning. I scanned all the CCTV cameras but couldn’t see any sign of anything. The alarm triggered again on Sunday evening.

“Our grounds team manager Clive Hitchinson came up to the site in his car and saw a man leaving the scene.

“He said he saw him jump off our fence and run down the side of the path between the centre and Princess Avenue with items in his arms.

“He said he was wearing a red top and had a dark scarf around his face.”

She added: “The town council will continue to actively seek the return of the equipment and serial numbers can be provided if anyone has information that this equipment has either been sold on or is being stored anywhere.”

Inspector Geoff Carter of the South East Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “At around 10pm on January 3, somebody forced entry to a store building on the site and took several items of gardening equipment including strimmers.

“They were seen making off alongside the recreation field.

“Clearly this equipment is used for the community and anybody within the community that has any information that may lead us to the perpetrators, should please come forward and let us know.”

Anyone with any information should contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

People can also contact the council on 01977 642335 or by email at info@southelmsallcouncil.co.uk