Raiders smash their way into Havant bowling alley

TAPED OFF AMF Bowling in Havant.  Picture: Sarah Standing (121331-8709)
TAPED OFF AMF Bowling in Havant. Picture: Sarah Standing (121331-8709)
Louis Makai. Picture: Sussex Police

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CROOKS smashed their way into a bowling alley and ransacked fruit machines for cash.

AMF Bowling at Havant Retail Park, off Portsdown Hill Road was targeted by thieves in the early hours.

Staff arrived at work yesterday morning to find glass strewn across the pavement outside and a trail of damage inside as several fruit machines had been smashed open.

A police cordon was put up around the glass-fronted entrance as police looked for clues.

Part of the entrance area was boarded up and staff spent the day cleaning up the mess that had been left by the raid.

Jenny Wride, who is a Bedhampton councillor and lives nearby in Glebe Park Avenue, said: ‘It’s shocking.

‘We have not had anything like that before.

‘I’d imagine they have a pretty sophisticated alarm system there.

‘It’s a salutary lesson not to leave takings on site.

‘They [the offenders] seem to be more professional.

‘They have done all they can to get in and get out quickly.

‘They are very slick.’

Hampshire police spokesman Duncan Smith said: ‘We can confirm we are investigating a report of a burglary at premises on the Havant Retail Park during the early hours of Monday.

‘Officers are pursuing several lines of enquiry.’

Cllr Wride called for extra patrols as she said there had been a number of burglaries in the Havant and Waterlooville area in the past few months.

She said: ‘Robust policing and detection abilities will be something people hope will be brought to bear.’

None of the staff members at AMF Bowling was available to speak to The News.

But company spokesman Tom Stroud said: ‘We can confirm that there was a break-in at AMF Bowling in Havant.

‘The centre is open for business as usual and we are currently doing all we can to assist the police with their investigations.

‘We are unable to comment further at this stage.’

Anyone with information should call police on 101.