Rugby club members blasted burglars who stole £500 and attempted to pinch bottles of spirits before being disturbed.

The thieves targeted the clubhouse in Beckers Green Road, Braintree, by breaking in through a cellar window and disabling CCTV cameras.

Once inside they took the cash from the safe but dropped the boxes of alcohol as the alarm went off in the early hours of last Tuesday. jan 10 John Troup, of Braintree Rugby Club, said: “Times are hard enough for sports clubs without £500 of hard won bar takings being lost.

“I am very very disappointed it is not the first time we have been targeted by burglars.

“They disabled the CCTV system after approaching from an angle where there was no CCTV.

“They stole just over £500 after smashing open the safe.

“They tried to steal several bottles of spirits but the alarm went off and they abandoned all the spirits in boxes in the compound.

“It is very frustrating when the club relies on things like bar takings .

“We have had our share of financial issues and it is a blow we could have done without.”

It is becoming more expensive to run the bar due to rises in bills such as heating and Mr Troup said it very frustrating for all the club members who give up their time.

A police spokesman said: “Thieves forced their way into the building on Beckers Green Road between 8pm Monday, January 9 and 9am Tuesday, January 10.

“The thieves used a ladder to climb inside the premises.”

They asked anyone with information to call 101.