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Break-in has left scouts demoralised
LEADERS of a Scout group are stunned after thieves broke into their hut for the fourth time in four years.
Minster Lovell Scout Group is now facing a £2,000 bill to improve security after the latest burglary.
The back door of the building in Brize Norton Road was forced open with a crowbar and chains were cut from around the gate before the intruders took a lawnmower and knives.
Scout group leader David Jackson said: “We are feeling totally demoralised.
“All that was stolen is stuff like coffee, tea, kitchen knives and a lawnmower that doesn’t even work. But we are at our wits' end.”
Four tents worth £380 each were stolen from the hut last November when burglars smashed windows to get inside. Five axes, two large machetes and spades were taken at the same time.
In April last year, windows were broken and a first aid kit was taken. The hut was first raided in 2009 when cooking equipment was taken by burglars who broke windows to get in.
Mr Jackson said the group has already had to spend £5,000 to replace broken windows with double glazing.
He said the latest damage would cost more than £600 to repair and the equipment could cost up to £200 to replace. The group is considering spending £2,000 on CCTV, floodlights and a more secure front door.
Mr Jackson added: “It’s all money that has been taken away from the children’s enjoyment.
“We don’t keep anything valuable at the hut now because of the constant problems we have been having.
“Each time we go up there to the hut now we think: What are we going to find?”
Pc Laura Pagan, of Witney police station, is appealing for witnesses to help solve the latest crime.
She said: “The disruption to the club following the most recent burglary is very distressing for the leaders and members.
“The equipment stolen and damaged will have to be replaced, with the leaders now depending on donations to replace the stolen items.
“The Minster Lovell Scout Club is located in the heart of the community and will no doubt suffer from this recent burglary.”
Witnesses should call 101 with information.
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