Raiders smashed their way into a private members’ club on the Fylde coast and went on the rampage causing more than £500 of damage. The burglars struck at Ansdell Institute, on Woodlands Road in Ansdell, where they forced their way through five doors, destroying locks and damaging woodwork.
Once inside they targeted three fruit machines in the bar area, wrecking them completely by smashing them with a fire extinguisher and emptying them of cash, leaving glass and debris strewn over the floor.
Drawers were ripped open as the intruders continued to search the property during the raid in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
The thieves are thought to have taken money but no other items, although the exact sum taken is not yet confirmed.
Behind them, they left a devastating scene of destruction at the club, which has 800 members and has been in existence in the listed building for more almost 70 years.
Now club officials and Fylde Police are appealing for any information.
Club secretary Bob Cartmell said: “The members were really upset when they found out what had happened. They have put a lot of time and effort into doing things for the club, it’s part of the local community and very close knit, it’s like a family.
“We don’t have a lot of money so this sort of thing is a setback, but the response from everyone was brilliant, everyone mucked in and it was business as usual on Wednesday.
“We would just appeal to anyone who may have seen anything to contact the police.”
Officers spent hours combing the scene. Anyone with information can contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.