Charity money taken in football club burglary

By Harriet Ernstsons Tuesday 29 January 2013 Updated: 31/01 09:32

A HEARTBROKEN family have been left shocked after vandals destroyed merchandise being sold in memory of their daughter.

Offenders who broke in to Redditch United's Football Club smashed up the bar area, taking a pot of charity money for SADS UK and ruining more than £300 worth of wristbands, badges and pens.

Robert Underwood said the total amount lost during the burglary was more than a third of the cost of a defibrillator, equipment he and his family have been fund-raising for since the tragic death of 16-year-old Charlotte from Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome.

Speaking to the Standard, he said: "Someone could have a cardiac arrest somewhere we could have put a defibrillator if we'd had that money.

"It's absolutely heartless and we can't understand how someone could steal from a charity trying to save people's lives.

"How can anyone be that desperate for money? It's so personal for us because we are from Redditch and we have been trying to raise the money to protect people in Redditch. We can't get our heads around it."

A spokeswoman from SADS UK added: "It is unbelievable that someone could be so callous and take funds that were being collected for the charity to go towards cardiac equipment to save lives."

The vandals broke in to Valley Stadium on Bromsgrove Road between 5.30pm last Friday (January 25) and 4.30am the following morning (Saturday).

Vice chair Sallie Swan said it was the second time in less than a month the club had been targeted, following the theft of their television on New Year's Day, and the damage had cost the club more than £2,000.

Around 22 gallons on beer had soaked through to the changing rooms below the bar after the thieves opened the beer taps and a pool table was also destroyed.

"There is damage to a lot of things so we are stock taking, repairing and trying to make it safe so they don't come in again. We have only been able to play one match in two months so money is tight.

"We want to replace everything but what is the point if people are going to come in and do that?"

PC Heather Wilkes said: "There has been substantial damage caused to the bar area including destruction of a pool table, beer taps left open to pour all over the floor and a lot of bottles have been smashed near to the pitch.

"According to the club's vice chairman the pitch will need to be carefully cleaned. If any glass is found on the pitch at a later date by a referee during a game they could end up being fined.

"We will be viewing CCTV in the hope that we might be able to get a description of the offenders but we are also eager to hear from anyone who was in the area on Friday evening or early on Saturday morning and saw any suspicious activity."

Anyone with any information should call PC Wilkes on 101, quoting incident 69-N-260113, or ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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