Heartless thieves steal items from Topsham hall

PUBLISHED: 10:55 26 November 2009 | UPDATED: 12:23 10 June 2010

HEARTLESS thieves have struck at Matthews Hall stealing a number kitchenware items. A collection of cups, saucers and jugs, as well as a large bowl, has been taken from the Apple Room cafe, located at the front of the hall. The news comes as a sickening b

HEARTLESS thieves have struck at Matthews Hall stealing a number kitchenware items.

A collection of cups, saucers and jugs, as well as a large bowl, has been taken from the Apple Room cafe, located at the front of the hall.

The news comes as a sickening blow to members of the community - just three months after the building reopened following modernisation work - who worked tirelessly hard to raise funds for its modernisation.

Steve Preston, chairman of the hall's management committee, said the theft was very disappointing. "We are at a total loss as to why people would do this," he explained.

"We are considering putting in a number of measures to prevent this kind of thing from happening again like asking the hall's hirers to count stock and report any losses to the caretaker.

"They will then forfeit their deposit if anything goes missing.

"We don't want to put a dampener on our new hall or put up hostile notices about thefts and so forth.

"In the past we have had cups and saucers which weren't that attractive but now we have attractive ones, people think they can help themselves."

Maggie Butt, chair of the hall's modernisation project and Topsham Community Association, said: "We feel very sad because people have worked so hard fundraising, making the hall what it is now.

"Various people have given so much support. We cannot possibly afford to keep replacing them."

Maggie said she did not want there to be any bad feeling, speculating who could have stolen the items, but she added: "We don't think it is customers who go into the bar because the waitresses would have noticed.

"Obviously someone has been very mean."

Percy Giles, police community support officer for Topsham, said he would like anyone with information about the theft to contact him on 08452 777444.

He said: "I do not condone this kind of behaviour - it is such a petty, mindless crime.

"People should respect the hall and all the hard work which has gone into its modernisation.

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