Thieves have stolen a 30ft climbing wall from a Melton Scout camp which will cost them £30,000 to replace.
District commissioner Ian Cliffe discovered the theft of the structure, which was locked and securely mounted on a trailer, this morning (Monday) at the Holwell Pastures campsite.
It is used regularly by Scouts from the Melton area and provides income for the organisation through it being hired out for public events and use by other groups.
Mr Cliffe told the Melton Times: “I went up to the site today because we were having something delivered and I found the gate open and I could see the inner gate post bent back where they must have knocked the climbing wall against when they towed it away.
“It’s incredibly annoying for us all because it will cost us £30,000 to replace - it cost us £8,000 second hand but we’ve spent about £22,000 getting it up to scratch and upgrading it.
“The wall is fully booked up all summer from next month so we are just hoping we can get it back.”
The serial number of the wall has been circulated among other Scouts groups across the UK in case they get offered it to buy.
One witness is understood to have spotted a climbing wall being towed north along the M6 yesterday but Mr Cliffe added: “We don’t know whether it was stolen to be sold on or if they want to cut it up to sell as scrap metal. If that is the case we are unlikely to see it again.”
The stolen equipment was a Spectrum Sports four-sided mobile climbing wall which is about 30ft in length and about 9ft wide and it was stored on a trailer.
Police are investigating and anyone with information or who saw anything suspicious when it was taken, between 1pm on Sunday and 8am today, is asked to call Pc 344 Jonathan Shaw on 101 quoting the crime reference 18*231191.