Sports centre thief strikes in county again

Alan Phillip who is wanted by police in connection with a series of sports centre burglaries
Alan Phillip who is wanted by police in connection with a series of sports centre burglaries
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A burglar targeting sports clubs across the country is believed to have struck again in Lancashire.

Earlier this year police issued a warning following a series of burglaries they believe are linked, including two in Preston.

Now officers are now once again urging all venues to check their security measures and ensure valuables were properly looked after following more thefts.

The latest happened at St Anne’s Cricket Club, Highbury Road East between 5.20pm and 7.45pm on Sunday, August 3, when a thief went into a changing room during the match and stole cash and mobile phones valued at more than £2,000.

On Saturday, a thief targeted Thornton Cleveleys Sports Club in Bourne Road between 2.45pm and 3.10pm, and stole cash and mobile phones worth almost £3,000.

Police want to speak to Alan Phillip, 62, about the latest thefts and a series of others across the country including one on March 19 at UCLan’s sports arena in Tom Benson Way, where a thief went into the changing room complex and stole a quantity of smart phones and tablets worth in excess of £2,000.

Another theft happened at Preston Grasshoppers Rugby Club, which was targeted on March 16, where two mobile phones were stolen from the changing area.

Phillip, who also goes by the name Anthony Tye, is also wanted by West Midlands Police in relation to a theft at Edgbaston where a large quantity of mobile phones and cash were stolen. In this case, the offender pretended to be a physio at the club and offered to take a valuables bag for safekeeping.

Detective Inspector Warren Atkinson, of Preston Police, said: “We would warn other sports clubs to be mindful of who they trust valuables to and also to check on their security, such as checking that they have working CCTV, or consider installing some if they don’t already have it.

“I am keen to hear from anyone who feels they may have information or know the identity of the offender.”

Police believe that Phillip uses public transport and stays at B&Bs where he probably pays cash.

Det Insp Atkinson urged those who work in the hotel business, within public transport or is involved with a sport to contact the police with information.