Bouncy castle stolen during break-ins at Elm Park community centre

Burglars who targeted an Elm Park community centre have broken in four times over the past month.

They broke into Brettons Community Association, Manor House, in Rainham Road, on May 6, 15 and 19, and stole alcohol from the bar, broke windows and spilt paint on the floors.

The last break in was on Friday, June 3, when a bouncy castle worth ₤500 was stolen from the garden of the centre.

It is distinctive with a black patch on the back.

CCTV from the club has been obtained by the police for evidence.

David Causley from the Brettons Community Association, said: “They broke in, but didn’t steal anything of value the first three times. They tried to get in the back way and stole a few bottles of beer from the bar.

“This time they stole the bouncy castle, which was our pride and joy. We got it a couple of years ago for the children and bring it out every time there is an event.”

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He said: “We run this hall voluntarily. By them doing this they are depriving the children and the community.

“They are robbing the children by taking their bouncy castle.

“The hall is up and running again, but only because we came in and spent time tidying it up, clearing the broken glass and cleaning all the paint off the floor.”

He said the group, which hires the hall out to make money to keep it running, will have to invest in more cameras.

“We have spent a few hundred pounds putting new locks on the doors and getting more CCTV cameras around the building to make it more secure.

“This is money that we would have spent on other activities during the year, which we can’t do now.”

Police said they have had reports of the break ins. A spokeswoman said: “The officers from the safer neighbourhood team are working with the owner to review security at the venue.”