Thieves steal 25 children’s tents from Hornchurch scouts
Scout groups were left shaking their heads in bewilderment this week after thieves stole dozens of children’s tents from a club house.
The 2nd Elm Park Scouts were almost forced to cancel a survival training camp after thieves stole more than 25 tents from the club house in the early hours of Monday.
Burglars, who ransacked the club room in Wood Lane, Hornchurch, around 1.15am, also took expensive electrical equipment from the Hornchurch & Upminster Sea Cadets which share the same building.
Community group leaders were devastated on Monday morning to find the tents, worth around �1,000, and electrical equipment, worth tens of thousands of pounds, stolen from padlocked containers.
The scouts – including 45 youngsters – were almost forced to abandon a camping excursion this weekend, but luckily borrowed tents from other Havering groups.
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District commissioner for Hornchurch Scouts, Scott Wilderspin, said: “We haven’t got a clue why they would steal so many tents.
“It’s a nasty crime anyway. But particularly for an organisation that has to do all its own fundraising.”
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The sea cadets, TS Hurricane, were also fuming after their generator, electrical tools, cable and even a chainsaw were stolen. The equipment was part of plans to upgrade lighting at the centre.
Sea cadet chairman Chris Butcher admitted: “It’s quite a blow. We’re all volunteers, we’re a self-funded charity, so this is all stuff we have to find ourselves.
“We put ourselves out there to help the youth of today and it makes you wonder who does this to an organisation such as ourselves.”
While the centre had CCTV, the footage is too dark to give descriptions of the three suspects, who police are still hunting.
Anyone with information should call Romford Police Station on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Anyone willing to donate to the clubs should visit their websites: www.sea-cadets.org/hornchurchupminster and www.hornchurchscouts.org.uk