THIEVES have been raiding sports clubs in part of Basildon to steal cash, computers and even a tractor.

Basildon Rugby Club has been broken into seven times in recent months.

Ford Sports and Social Club has also been targeted four times in the last four weeks, while the Selex Sports and Leisure Club was raided five times in three weeks.

Other clubs in the Gardiners Close area including Basildon United Football Club, the Post Office Club and the Culpepper Club have also been broken into.

Dave Hare, 55, chairman of Basildon Rugby Club, said: “It feels like we are constantly fixing one thing or another.

“No one has been caught, so we have taken measures ourselves to ensure it doesn’t keep happening.”

The club has upgraded its security by fitting six steel doors and plates to the windows of its clubhouse, paid for through some of its £60,000 lottery funding.

Mr Hare added: “It’s a real shame we can’t spend the funds on more positive activities, like developing more links with the local schools.”

Michael McNally, manager of Ford Sports and Social Club, added: “It’s getting silly. We have put various security measures in place – a new alarm system, CCTV and reinforced doors. Whoever has broken in has broken doors and windows, as well as stealing a laptop and even a tractor.”

An Essex Police spokesman said: “Detectives have investigated several break-ins at the rugby club and other clubs in the area, but there is no CCTV and scenes of crime officers have found no positive forensic leads. Police are therefore appealing to the public for information.”

Basildon CID can be contacted on 101.