English golf clubs on theft alert

Five clubs in the south east broken into in a matter of weeks

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Hindhead GC lost a trophy won by Justin Rose

Golf clubs in south east England are being placed on high alert after learning thieves have broken into a string of clubhouses and stolen dozens of historic trophies.

Silverware dating back more than 100 years has been stolen by gangs who have struck at five golf courses within a 40-mile radius in the space of two months.

Hindhead Golf Club in Surrey is the latest club to fall victim after losing a dozen trophies two weeks ago, including its Devil's Punchbowl Trophy as won in 1995 by World No.5 Justin Rose.

Earlier this month, thieves also broke into West Sussex Golf Club in Pulborough and took more than 20 trophies, while on October 2, a gang was captured on CCTV removing the patio door at Farnham Golf Club in Surrey before wheeling away with 19 trophies.

Farnham Golf Club's manager Grahame Cowlishaw said: “For the members who have been here a long time, it was devastating. You can’t get the history back. The greatest loss is the club’s emblem, a 14-inch Silver Frigate Trophy dating back to 1920. It will cost more than £50,000 to replace.”

And it doesn't stop there. Windlesham Golf Club in Bagshot was also burgled on September 15, as too Laleham Golf Club in Chertsey on August 30.

Surrey police have issued a CCTV image of a suspect in the Farnham burglary. Det Con James Hilton said: “We would urge golf clubs to remain vigilant and report any sightings of suspicious individuals. I would also appeal to anyone who has any information about these incidents or has been approached with golf trophies to contact us.”

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