Police appeal following attempted theft and damage of Crewe Alex sports pitch
By Ryan Parker
24th May 2023 | Local News
Cheshire Police are appealing for witnesses and video footage following the attempted theft of a patch of artificial grass - from a sports facility in Crewe.
Sometime between 1am on Saturday 20 May and 10pm on Sunday 21 May, unknown offenders forced entry into the Alexandra Soccer Centre on Crewe Road, Shavington.
Once inside the offenders cut a 25 metre by 20 metre patch of artificial grass and attempted to remove it from the site.
Due to the weight of the piece of new pitch, the thieves were unable to remove it and left the site empty handed.
This attempted theft left damage of the new £400k pitch in the region of £20,000 to £30,000.
Operations manager of Crewe Alexandra in the Community, Melvin Bates, told Nub News he was "appalled" by the "gut-wrenching" incident.
Mr Bates said: "On Monday, I came to brush the pitch and noticed there was a line going right through it. It was a terrible mess.
"Manufacturers are currently busy and are looking at the pitch damage next week. It is expected to cost between £20,000 and £30,000 to repair it.
"We are a registered charity and it has taken years to save the money for the pitch project.
"To have this setback is soul-destroying for out community and staff knowing that one of the best facilities in Cheshire has mindless people destroying it."
The FIFA-quality pitch, which can accommodate a full-sized game or six small-sided matches, was only put down in September 2022.
Crewe Alexandra in the Community raised funds for 14 years to complete this development - only to see it vandalised in eight months.
Sergeant Steve Tandy, of Crewe LPU, said: "While the offenders left empty handed, the damage they caused is expected significant amount of money to fix.
"It will also mean that part of this fantastic community facility will be closed for several weeks until it can be repaired.
"Enquiries in relation to the incident are ongoing and as part of our investigation we're keen to hear from anyone with any information which may aid out investigation.
"We're particularly keen to hear from anyone details or with video footage in relation to a large silver car which was parked at the gates of the facility for around 40 minutes of Saturday evening.
"I would urge anyone with any information in relation to the incident to contact the team here at Crewe on 101, or at www.cheshire.police.uk/tell-us, quoting IML1553968."
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