Break-in at bike track has put Plymouth Devils' fixture at risk
BURGLARS ransacked Plymouth Speedway racetrack stealing thousands of pounds worth of cash, booze and sporting goods.
The break-in has put Saturday's premier league fixture at risk, club bosses said.
Thieves used bolt cutters to break into shops, a catering van and offices at the Marsh Mills motorcycle track.
Bottles of spirits, sports jackets worth more than £1,000, and hundreds of pounds in cash were snatched during the overnight raid.
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Mike Bowden, chair of Plymouth Devils, said he is "furious" at the damage.
He said Saturday's home race between Plymouth Devils and Newcastle may have to be postponed because vital paperwork is missing, including riders' records and race certificates.
Police are appealing for information about the burglary, which took place some time on Monday night and the early hours of the following morning.
Mr Bowden discovered the break-in when he arrived at the track at 6.30am yesterday.
"Everything was broken in to and ransacked," he said. "They'd used bolt croppers and forced the deadlocks on the doors of three Portakabins, the catering van, the bar and track shop.
"They ripped open a filing cabinet and scattered everything all over the place.
"Valuable Speedway paperwork is missing, putting this weekend's meetings at risk – riders' records and contracts, referees' reports, everything. It's such a mess.
"I'm furious. The race can't legally go ahead without that paperwork so I will have to see if we can get duplicates."
Friday's away race in Scunthorpe will not be affected, he added.
Mr Bowden said around £50 cash and bottles of spirits were taken from the bar, £200 from the candy shop, and about 40 Devils race jackets from the race shop.
He said the club and his daughter, who runs the track shop, will have to cover the costs themselves as they are unable to insure an 'unattended open sports area'.
Police yesterday launched an investigation and urged anyone with information to come forward.
A police spokesman said: "Access was gained to the Speedway site and extensive damage was caused.
"We are keen to hear from anyone who can help us apprehend the culprits."
The burglary comes after a similar incident in July 2008 when thieves broke into the club's shop and stole goods worth £2,000.
Anyone with information about the latest incident is asked to telephone police on 101 quoting crime reference number EC/12/652.