Thieves strike at Doncaster’s private boat club

Inspector Mark Payling of South Yorkshire police
Inspector Mark Payling of South Yorkshire police

Burglars sparked fury after they stole thousands of pounds worth of equipment and even a rescue dinghy from a boating club.

Members of Thorne Cruising Club were shocked to find thieves had broken into 11 storage sheds in just one night - which followed a previous burglary the weekend before.

The two raids netted the burglars thousands of pounds worth of tools. They also nicked a dinghy used as a standby to rescue anyone who gets into difficulty in the water.

Club secretary and retired engineer Terry Brown, 70, said: “It causes everyone a major inconvenience and a great cost to replace what has been stolen.

“These people should be punished properly to make sure they don’t do it again.”

Burglars struck at night on Saturday, January 17, and broke into 11 sheds at the club at Stainforth Basin, East Bank, Stainforth.

Mr Brown said they stole several tools from two sheds, including a chainsaw and inverted welder, worth as much as £900. They also took a dinghy, worth about £250, which the club is now looking at replacing.

A garage at a nearby home was also allegedly broken into a few days later on Wednesday, January 21, but nothing was taken.

The raids followed a previous attack at about midnight on Saturday, January 10, in which they smashed the locks on about a dozen storage units.

Grandfather-of-two Steve Elwis, 55, told how he had a multi-tool and two chainsaws, worth about £500, taken during the first raid.

The former civil servant, who lives on a houseboat at the site, said: “You have enough fees to pay to remain on the water without something like this.

“A lot of people have their boats as holidays and so some them probably won’t even know they have been broken into.

“I hope they catch whoever did this and teach them a lesson.”

CCTV footage captured four people in hooded tops at the scene and club members suspect they were involved. They have reported the incidents to police and gave officers access to the footage.

Inspector Mark Payling said no arrests have been made and added: “These were at locked premises but when there has been a spate like this we would urge everyone in the area to make sure their property is securely locked away.” Call police on 101.