Thieves damage skate park and steal cash in upsetting raid on community project

George Simpson, the owner of Override Skate Park.
George Simpson, the owner of Override Skate Park.

A skate park boss has told of his devastation after his community business was targeted by thieves who caused hundreds of pounds worth of damage when they broke in to steal cash.

The Override Skate Park, in Shaftesbury Avenue, Jarrow, was raided between 8pm on Monday night and 8:55am on Tuesday.

Thieves smashed through doors at Override Skate Park.

Thieves smashed through doors at Override Skate Park.

The popular park was opened four years ago by George Simpson as a non-for-profit enterprise aiming to keep hundreds of kids off the streets and boost their self esteem.

Now staff and volunteers have been left to pick up the pieces after thieves targeted the building - breaking through three doors to steal cash which had been set aside to pay for rent and t-shirts.

Mr Simpson, 51, from Jarrow, said: “We came to the park on Tuesday morning and saw that it had been broken into.

“They had smashed the security shutter and smashed the glass on the next door and then kicked in the office door where they stole money from the office.
“They stole around £1,300 to be used for rent money and money for a t-shirt order.

The damage caused by thieves at Override Skate Park.

The damage caused by thieves at Override Skate Park.

“They also took a box of money which was change for the till.”

But despite the damage the park opened the very same day, after emergency repairs were carried out to fix the shutter.

George added: “We won’t be beaten and we haven’t closed, but we are gutted as it’s taking things from the kids.”

A Norhtumbria Police spokeswoman said: “Police are appealing for witnesses following a burglary at a Jarrow business.

Skate park owner George Simpson estimates the damge will cost around �400.

Skate park owner George Simpson estimates the damge will cost around �400.

“It happened at the Override Skate Park on Tyne Point Industrial Estate overnight between 8pm on Monday, October 2 and 8:55am on Tuesday, October 3.

“Offenders forced their way in causing damage to the premises and stole an amount of cash.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police quoting reference 200 of 03/10/17 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Thieves broke through the metal shutter on the main door of the park.

Thieves broke through the metal shutter on the main door of the park.