Thieves target RAF memorial

The collection box wrecked by yobs who made off with loose change, says John Coombes (below).
The collection box wrecked by yobs who made off with loose change, says John Coombes (below).
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Vandals have caused £400 of damage for the sake of a “handful of coppers” at a Fylde Coast memorial.

Yobs are believed to have used a battery powered angle-grinder to get into the donation box next to the RAF Fighter, Bomber and Coastal Command memorial at Fairhaven Lake, Ansdell.

John Coombes

John Coombes

Inside would have been just a small amount of change, according to the memorial fund’s chairman, John Coombes.

The box, which is encased in a display made from a WW2 bomb, is normally emptied everyday, but because of recent heavy rain and strong winds, volunteers didn’t attend on Thursday night or Friday night.

When they arrived on Saturday morning, they saw the safe had been hacked open, and the money inside was missing.

Mr Coombes said: “The
repair costs will have to come out of the memorial funds, which we are currently collecting for a memorial garden. This is a crime not only against our members but against the whole community because it is the community which will suffer from the lack of improvement to the park around our memorial.

Yobs have caused �400 of damage to the Spitfire Memorial fund box at Fairhaven Lake, Ansdell, for a handful of coppers.

Yobs have caused �400 of damage to the Spitfire Memorial fund box at Fairhaven Lake, Ansdell, for a handful of coppers.

“Theses people have cost us £400 for a handful of coppers. It’s like pinching a Poppy Appeal collection box – it’s exactly the same lowlife thing to do.”

It’s not the first time the collection box has been targeted.

In May, before the memorial was even officially opened, police had to adjust CCTV cameras after vandals kicked and damaged it. And just a few weeks ago more yobs tried to get into the collection box by attempting to take the lock off.

Mr Coombes said: “Whoever went down there went equipped to get inside, and it must have taken some time to get in.

“I’m amazed no-one has come forward to say they heard or saw something.”

The Fylde Spitfire Memorial Fund has started a Facebook and Twitter campaign for information about the theft.

Mr Coombes said police were investigating.

He said scenes of crime officers had attended the scene, and CCTV footage from the last few days was being reviewed.

He added: “We will keep a close eye on the memorial.”

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