Thieves target Chidham children's charity

A children's charity suffered a '˜huge blow' when thieves took a valuable trailer last week from its Chidham centre.

Thursday, 19th January 2017, 12:27 pm
Updated Thursday, 19th January 2017, 2:12 pm

The theft fromthe Cobnor Activity Centre Trust in Chidham follows a similar incident at a West Sussex family adventure park earlier in January.

Head of the activity centre Gary Palmer said the trailer was ‘an integral part’ of the centre’s activities, and cost around £9,000 new.

He said: “It’s a huge blow to the charity trust, because we actually need something like that for all our schools, to deliver our product, at the end of the day.

“The tragic thing for us was we took steps to secure it, it’s behind a metal gate which is locked, chained and padlocked, but it seems they had a mechanism for totally shattering the lock and chain and taking it away, because we only found small fragments of the lock.”

He asked that people ‘keep a look out’ for the trailer, and report anyone trying to sell one cheaply to the police.

If the trailer is not found, the trust will buy a new one to continue its work providing outdoor activities to support and educate young people.

But Mr Palmer said the team were not going to let it knock them back.

“If people are targeting charities now, and don’t have as strong morals as we hoped, we’re going to have to look to beef up our security,” he said.

The Ifor Williams trailer was stolen sometime between January 12 and 16.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to contact police on 101 citing reference 568 of 16/01.

The same brand of trailer was stolen from Wisborough Green’s Fishers Farm Adventure Park around midnight on January 3.

Thieves cut through and removed a padlock on a gate before driving off with the 12-foot trailer, but were prevented from taking more equipment by a staff member who chased after them.

Police have been asked to comment as to if the two incidents are being formally linked.

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