Flintshire village hall raiders steal poppy collection

Reporter:

Matt Jones

THIEVES have insulted the memory of brave servicemen and women after they stole two poppy collection boxes and trashed a village hall.

Raiders struck at Llanasa Village Hall ahead of Remembrance Sunday and stole up to £300 in collection money and expensive sound equipment.

The community is still picking up the pieces after the crime but village leaders have vowed to keep community spirit high.

Derek Cashen, treasurer on the hall’s committee said: “They broke in through the gent’s toilet window and got into the hall.

“They have taken two poppy boxes and they have taken the PA system and speakers. They have also opened all the cupboards used by the groups using the hall and left a mess.

“We have no idea how much was taken. We think there was about £300, but it is difficult to know. This has been extremely shocking. It is a thing you do not do, they have got no souls.

“One of the boxes was found near Prestatyn but it had been emptied.”

Groups who use the site include youth organisations such as the Girl Guides, the Women’s Institute and Mothers’ Union.

Mr Cashen added: “The speakers were important for the groups using the hall.
There has been some disruption, but no cancellations, but we will carry on. There is a good spirit in the village.”

Police have launched an investigation into the break-in on November 12 and are appealing for witnesses.

Ex-Welsh Guardsman Cllr Nigel Steele-Mortimer, ward member for the village and the committee’s chairman, said the crime was the lowest of the low.

He said: “I think it really is the bottom of the barrel. I do not know how you can do something like that. It is an insult to the memories of the soldiers and those serving at the moment. It is unbelievable.

“We may decide to raise some more money. At the moment we are picking up the pieces. It is quite possible we would do that.”

Sgt John Williams, based at Flint Police Station said: “They tried to force open the rear doors and then forced open the rear toilet window.

“We are taking this very seriously and are looking into it.”

He added witnesses or anyone with information should contact North Wales Police on 101.

See full story in the Leader

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