Yobs have left a community angling club reeling after stealing decking used to help disabled people fish.
Chesterton Community Angling Club is now fishing for help after one of its platforms was stolen between Saturday night and Sunday morning.
It means the Lymedale Business Park-based volunteers now have to find a way to replace the decking before one of the 10 platforms can be used again.
The club is now appealing for anyone who could help restore the decking or who knows who stole the old one to come forward.
Club chairman Stuart Stockton said: “We’re a not-for-profit and provide an activity for the kids so we can help cut down anti-social behaviour but it also gives pensioners, adults, and people with disabilities a place to fish.
“Some of our platforms have fallen into disrepair and with the help of a grant from the council we managed to get some new ones. They’d only been in place for three weeks before someone told us the boards had been taken.
“I haven’t got the words to say how I properly feel, I am gobsmacked. I can’t believe someone would do this to something like the club.
“Whoever has taken the decking must have undone each board with a screwdriver or a power tool because it doesn’t look as though it has just been ripped up.”
Stuart is now hoping someone would be willing to come forward and donate new decking, or help the club fund the replacement.
He added: “All of our money we generate comes from the membership and goes back into improving the facilities. We are hopeful that someone out there would be willing to come forward and help.”
Water bailiff Jamie Evans, of Chesterton, hopes local businesses with security cameras could help identify the thieves.
The 25-year-old said: “We had just managed to get together the money for the decking so it’s not just the committee that is upset by this but all of the members – it was their money.
“A lot of hard work has been put into this club so it is frustrating. We’re not a club with spare money in the bank because we rely on donations.
“There’s a couple of factories nearby so we are hoping they will have CCTV covering the paths. But if they haven’t we will probably never catch who did it.”
Police confirmed officers are investigating the theft.
A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: “On Sunday (February 18) we received a report of a theft from Chesterton Community Angling Club.
“Unknown offenders have stolen 12 timber decking strips with an approximate value of £150.
“It is possible that they gained access to the premises by the single track path, which leads to the pools from Wilmot Drive and Lower Milehouse Lane. An investigation is on-going, and CCTV is being reviewed.”
Anyone with information is asked to call 101 quoting incident number 337 of February 18. To help the club search ‘Chesterton Community Angling Club’ on Facebook.