Four more clubs suffer trophy thefts
Two detective constables with Surrey Police have warned golf clubs to be more conscious of their trophy security arrangements than usual, after at least four more golf clubs experienced break-ins or attempted break-ins in recent weeks.
At least 20 golf clubs, especially in Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire, have now had their trophies stolen since late summer 2012. Police believe thieves are targeting silver trophies due to the high value of the metal.
Detective Constable Will Marsh said that clubs should be on high alert following the recent spate of thefts.
“I would ask that golf clubs around the county are aware of this offence and are alert to security in and around their buildings,” he said.
“This type of crime not only affects the golf club owners but the community of members and players who enjoy competing to win these awards.”
Detective Constable Nicky Gardner added: “We would urge any premises that stores trophies to remain vigilant to security in, and around, their buildings.”
Clandon Regis Golf Club in Surrey has had more than 30 trophies stolen, which are collectively worth £10,000.
Some of the trophies were later returned to the club after they were found discarded in a nearby lake.
Police say a dark 4×4 vehicle, similar to a Jeep Cherokee, drove up to the golf club one evening in December, and the offenders gained access to the club via the main entrance before raiding the trophy cabinet, which was specifically targeted.
Paul Napier, general manager at Clandon Regis Golf Club, said: “I am sad to report that the clubhouse was broken into and we have lost many of our trophies from the cabinet.
“The police attended the scene, we provided photos of the missing trophies and have given them CCTV footage of the vehicle that was involved.
“Thankfully we have good records of all the trophies and we aim to replace them all with the winners’ names back engraved on them to continue the proud history and tradition of all these cups and trophies.
“This is a sad reminder for us to be vigilant and report anything suspicious to a member of staff or the club office.”
Camberley Heath Golf Club, also in Surrey, experienced an attempted burglary just before Christmas.
Thieves, also in a 4×4, ram-raided the main entrance of the clubhouse at the same sort of time in the evening as at Clandon Regis, between 9.30pm and 10.30pm, causing significant damage to the entrance. The thieves gained access to the building but were not successful in stealing a single trophy.
Office manager Stuart Dubber said: “I am extremely saddened by the incident. We are thankful that nothing was stolen.”
And Lakeside Country Club in Surrey has also had eight large silver trophies stolen from its cabinet.
There are also reports that Royal Winchester Golf Club in Hampshire had its trophies stolen at the same time as these other thefts.
The news comes as Russell Thomas, chief executive of Cardiff Golf Club, said he was shocked to discover that his club’s trophies had been significantly under-insured for several years, after he acted following the thefts.
“None of the enquiries with local jewellers and trophy engravers as to the value of club trophies had been productive,” he said.
“My quest remained fruitless until, on reading through December’s issue of Golf Club Management magazine, I saw an advert promoting the services of David Tilleke FIAAS entitled ‘Golf Club Inventory & Silverware Valuations’.
“They scrutinised, valued, photographed, listed and described over 80 of our trophies.
“It is suffice to say that our insurance covered us for a measly 27 percent of the total valuation.”