A MINDLESS act of vandalism at a Cricket clubhouse has left a Portland community appalled.

Members of the Portland Red Triangle Cricket Club said they were disgusted after thieves smashed their way in on Tuesday night.

They made off with sweets and chocolates from the umpire’s cupboard in the third attack on the club in as many years.

It is thought the thieves broke into an outbuilding, stole a hammer and used this to break a window where they gained entry to the pavilion.

Glass lay shattered on the floor outside and footprints were left by the culprits.

It is thought the attack was carried out by youths.

Club chairman Andrew Randell said: “They’re just giving all youngsters a bad name.

“We have so many well-behaved teenagers up here, playing, helping out.

“Then you get stuff like this which gives them all a bad rep.

“They’ve just spoilt it for everybody.

“This isn’t just a cricket club, it’s a community club.

“We have all sorts of events that go on here. We do as much for charity as we can and we’re just appalled.

“It’s going to cost us money which we can ill afford to spend at the moment.

“It’s just a completely mindless act by thugs.”

Forensics and fingerprints were taken by the police in a bid to catch the culprits.

In May, 2010 a hammer was wedged into the front door of the pavilion before thieves got in through a side door, ripped off cupboards and stole sweets.

In April last year, vandals broke in overnight, smashed up the kitchen and took a power drill, locker keys and snacks.

Club secretary Grant Neven said: “We are very disappointed and very annoyed.

“It’s mindless, completely mindless.

“They’ve had a good look round by the looks of things, because there are footprints everywhere.

“But luckily there was nothing else they could have taken.”

The club’s sponsor, Windowman, is now replacing the window.

But Mr Neven said vandalism like this shouldn’t be happening in the first place.

He added: “It just ruins it for everybody else.”

A Dorset Police spokes-man said: “The incident took place some time between 3.15pm on Tues-day afternoon and 10am yesterday.

“A shed was also broken into and a hammer was used to break into the pavilion.

“Anyone with information should contact us by calling 101.”