VANDALS who took a fleet of golf buggies for a joyride have caused thousands of pounds worth of damage.

General manager Matthew Staveley said staff at Came Down Golf Club near Dorchester were stunned when they turned up for work one morning and found their entire fleet of golf buggies had been damaged.

He said the damage was still being assessed but could end up costing as much as £27,000.

The buggies were secured outside the club but the mindless criminals used bolt cutters to release them and hotwired the vehicles before driving them around the golf course.

Mr Staveley said: “They drove them over two greens and flown them over the backs of bunkers and pretty much damaged the whole fleet.

“We have not had any problems like that before as they are pretty well locked up, it was very disappointing.”

The damage was discovered by staff arriving at work at 7am last Friday morning and Mr Staveley said must have been caused some time on Thursday night.

Mr Staveley said: “All the buggies were over the side of the road and all of them were not driveable.

“We are waiting for a mechanic to come and assess the damage and see if any of them are repairable.”

He added that he was informed that Wareham Golf Club had experienced a similar act of vandalism just two nights before.

Mr Staveley urged anyone who did see anything suspicious on the night in question to report it to the police.

He said: “If anybody did see anything or was passing in the hours of darkness and noticed anything suspicious please let them know.”

Inspector Les Fry of Dorchester Police condemned the actions of the vandals and backed Mr Staveley’s appeal for any witnesses.

He said: “The damage to these buggies will cost a considerable amount to of money to repair and I would welcome any information that would lead towards the apprehension of the offenders.

“There was probably high jinks and a prank but sadly it is going to cause the golf club an awful lot of inconvenience as well as the financial cost to repair and replace the buggies.”

Insp Fry urged witnesses or anyone with information to contact PC Jessica Chapman at Dorchester Police Station on 101.