Burglars cause thousands of pounds of damage at Wobbly Bob's children's indoor play centre in Farnworth
BURGLARS caused thousands of pounds of damage to a children's indoor play area.
But it was business as usual just hours after the office of Wobbly Bobs, King Street Retail Park, Farnworth, was ransacked by thieves who escaped with a float of just £50.
Owner Deborah Panton, who has run the business with husband Simon since 2009, said: “It’s sickened me to think that we’re trying to keep a place running and keep five girls employed. They work really hard and rely on it.
“Business is really difficult as it is and you get these people who come in and trash it. It would be so easy for me to say, forget it, I’ve had enough. But I wouldn’t give up for the likes of those people.”
The burglars forced their way into the property between 6pm and 10pm on Thursday, after the premises had closed.
Police estimate the damage caused to be between £4,000 and £5,000.
Security has now been upgraded at Wobbly Bobs, which is home to ball and soft play areas, slides, swings, cargo nets and a rope bridge, and is a haven for regular customers, including people who rely on the venue to have arranged contact with their children.
Mrs Panton said: “We’re trying to serve the community, there’s very little in Farnworth to start with.
“It’s more the damage than anything else. Whether it’s £1,000 or £4,000 of damage, it’s all the inconvenience of all the phone calls you’ve got to make.
“We’re trying to stay open. It’s difficult when you get some idiots that come in and trash the place.
“I wouldn’t have thought it was worth them turning out for what they’ve got away with.”
Mrs Panton praised the police for their support, from initially discovering the incident when they heard the burglar alarm sounding to the investigation.
She said: “It came to light because two PCSOs were coming past and they saw that they had escaped via the fire escape.”
Insp Chris Evans, from Bolton South Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: "Targeting a business which is enjoyed by many children in the area is heartless and will not be tolerated by police.
"The burglary happened at a time when people will have been in the area. We believe people may have seen those responsible and urge anyone with information to contact police."
Anyone with information or who saw people acting suspiciously are urged to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
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