Turning the tables

PUBLISHED: 12:09 23 June 2006 | UPDATED: 21:57 28 May 2010

POLICE believe they may have solved the mystery of trestle tables disappearing from village halls. The theft of hundreds of tables has baffled them for more than a year, but it seems the popularity of marquee weddings may be to blame. Wedding guests are

POLICE believe they may have solved the mystery of trestle tables disappearing from village halls.

The theft of hundreds of tables has baffled them for more than a year, but it seems the popularity of marquee weddings may be to blame.

Wedding guests are being asked to look for vital clues including odd assortments of tables, cutlery and tablecloths.

It is believed many of the 300 missing tables will have postcodes or the names of village halls painted on their undersides.

Twenty-seven tables valued at about £3,000 were stolen from Tydd St Mary village hall in August last year. The village hall committee was able to replace the tables through insurance but police were never able to trace the missing furniture.

The hall had just been refurbished when thieves struck, getting in through fire exits to remove the tables after first disabling security lights.

Committee members were baffled that other expensive items were left and the tables stolen.

A member of the village hall committee said: "We never heard anything from the police. Now we have to make sure that all the tables are put away out of sight every time the hall is used, which is very time consuming."

Police believe the thefts are being organised from a Lincolnshire base. There have been 30 break-ins, all in spring and summer.

Crime reduction officer for Lincolnshire police, Pc Tim Booth, said: "The best advice we can give is for local communities to be extra vigilant and to check on their village halls as regularly as they can, daily if possible.

"We would also advise that the village hall is clear of any valuables and that tables and chairs are securely locked out of sight.

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