A REWARD has been offered by a former mayor to help track sneak thieves who broke into a community centre stealing thousands of pounds worth of equipment.

The Richard Evans Centre on West End Road in Haydock is home to several community groups, including the Valley Brass Band.

Its chairman is councillor Keith Deakin who said he will stump up £200 to anyone that offers information that leads to the conviction of the thieves.

The band were fortunate in that no instruments were stolen but a group for OAPs who meet each Wednesday for a social group will be hit hard by the theft of equipment.

Dave Chadwick, who is a volunteer at the centre, said: “They took large screen TVs and game consoles.

“I think they took anything they could get their hands on and carry, although they left the instruments which we are thankful for.

“They even left bottles of vodka and beer outside.

“The senior group came in and they are despondent. They can’t even play bingo. We have been thinking who may have done it and perhaps it’s just kids.”

Cllr Deakin said: “When the OAPs come here it doesn’t cost them anything. They have their teas and coffees and play on the pool table and consoles and they enjoy it.

“Then along come a bunch of thieves and take it off them. It will take a lot of fundraising to replace them.”

Police are carrying out an investigation.