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Police warn after Colchester pubs and clubs are targeted
POLICE suspect a gang may be behind a wave of burglaries at pubs and social clubs in Colchester.
Early on Sunday, the Beefeater restaurant, the Albert, in Cowdray Avenue, was broken into.
In each case, doors were either left ajar or broken down by the burglars, who tried stealing money from tills, charity boxes and fruit machines.
Police believe a gang or an individual could be responsible.
Ray Martin, manager of Greenstead Social Club, in Blackthorn Avenue, said: “They broke down the door, broke the chains off and grabbed the till.
“Obviously, the alarm went off and they must have just scarpered.
“We have had quite a few attempts to get in this place.
“We had new back doors fitted recently and they tried to carve their way through that without success.
“The social club is here to help the community. It is disappointing, but times are desperate for people.
“It’s very hard at the moment. People know what goes on at the club and what money comes in.
“You get used to it, unfortunately.”
Police have warned pub and social club owners to lock their doors and review their security systems.
Insp Jim White said: “These burglaries may well be connected.
“It could be random, but it’s very unusual for several pubs and social clubs to be done in such a small space of time.”
Belle Vue Social Club was burgled on June 2, Pride Wine Bar was targeted on June 8, Greenstead Social Club on June 10 and Bridge Bar on June 11.
Anyone with information is asked to call Colchester police on 101.
:: A 49-year-old man from Colchester has been charged with burgling Belle Vue Social Club.
:: A 28-year-old man from Kelvedon will appear at Colchester Magistrates’ Court on July 11 charged with burgling the Albert.