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Non league player had car stolen after changing rooms were raided during match

With it FA Cup weekend again, we look back to last year when a non league player had his car stolen after changing rooms were raided during match.

On the 1st of September in 2020, Newent Town AFC player Zachary Blood recounted the ‘horrendous’ experience of having his car keys stolen during an preliminary round tie in Bristol – only to discover his BMW was missing.

Newent Town AFC player Zachary Blood had just lost 3-1 at Cribbs FC when he found his car keys for his 2018 BMW M Sport were missing from his bag in the away team dressing room, as reported by GloucestershireLive.

Many other items also was discovered to be missing from his team members’ belongings, which included a sentimental Louis Vuitton designer man-bag and £100 in cash from their assistant manager.

Avon and Somerset Police managed to seize a vehicle matching the description of Mr Blood’s BMW in the Cribbs Causeway area of Bristol.

Newent Town AFC said on Twitter at the time: “Gutted for the result tonight but more gutted that the lads had their belongings go missing from our changing room @CribbsFC including money and car keys etc.”

Non league player had car stolen after changing rooms were raided during match

Zachary Blood, who works as a planner and scheduler, said looking back on what happened: “At first you just think you’ve misplaced them and I checked the coach. Then I went to the bar area and asked if anyone had handed in any valuables.

Rob Hetherington, Cribbs FC Sports club manager, added: “Those lads who lost stuff, there was absolutely nothing we could do. We can’t claim off our insurance because they’ll say we’ve got disclaimers up saying that we’re not responsible and therefore they can’t claim off the insurance.

“So I was saying to them, you need to get the police here and make a list of everything that’s gone. That’s all you can do and just report it to the police.

Zachary Blood reported the incident to Avon and Somerset Police and headed back home on the club coach to Newent, which was around a 50 minute drive away.

Before returning, his parents called to tell him that his BMW was missing from the Newent Town AFC car park and the gates had been broken in.

The player, who is based in Worcester, then had to report the new theft to Gloucestershire Constabulary.

Blood got more worried because his home keys were also hooked up with the car keys, and he thought thieves may break in to his home.

He went on: “I slept on the sofa last night and my girlfriend slept upstairs. I barricaded both the front and backdoor with like weights and things like that. I left a light on. Work had been good in giving me a day off today.”

Mr Blood said he received a call at about 5.30am from Avon and Somerset Police informing him that a car matching his description had been seized.

A spokesperson for the police said: “We were called at approximately 10.20pm last night (Tuesday 1 September 2020) about a set of car keys for a black BMW being stolen from changing rooms at sports ground in the Henbury area earlier that evening.

“The vehicle had been left in the Newent area of Gloucestershire, but a BMW matching that description and a white Transit van were spotted by a member of the public in the Cribbs Causeway area at about 12.20am this morning.

“Officers subsequently attended and established the car had been stolen.

“Two males, aged 17 and 37, have been arrested on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle. They remain in police custody.

“Enquiries are continuing.”

At the time, Mr Blood said he has not yet had his car returned as forensic investigations were underway.

It’s not the first time we’ve seen a burglary take place at a non league club’s changing rooms.

In August 2020, Gloucester City were left ‘heartbroken’ after £10,000 worth of kit was stolen from their new Meadow Park home.

CLOS CITY AFC

Unfitted showers, boilers and other tools that were being used in the refurbishment were all taken from the club house.

Doors, locks and windows were also taken during the break in. Fortunately, there was no damage to the pitch.

Police arrived at the scene to investigate, with the site searched for fingerprints in the hope of catching the culprit(s).

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