SAILORS have been left “extremely disappointed” to have been targeted by a fuel tank thief and vandals on the same day.

A crook broke into Stour Sailing Club, in Quay Street, Manningtree, before stealing fuel tanks from the club’s safety boats.

A man, believed to be in his twenties, was spotted on CCTV breaking into a shed on the compound with bolt crops at about 1.20am last Tuesday.

After the wooden shed was broken into, a man went across the compound and broke into the fuel shed and removed the special outboard fuel tanks belonging to the club’s safety boats.

Later that day three youths were caught on CCTV pulling a boat down a slope into the water in broad daylight.

Two boys and a girl, believed to be about 13-years-old, were spotted tugging the boat around at about 5.05pm.

The girl was reported to be wearing distinctive white trousers with a black stripe up the legs.

Kelvin Howlett, the club’s secretary, said: “Two fuel tanks were taken off the boats, and there was also damage to the two sheds which needed repairing.”

He said a forensic officer came to investigate, but the individual linked to the theft could not be identified as there was no finger print trail.

The value of damage and theft of the fuel tanks cost the club about £200.

Kelvin, 65, from Manningtree, added: “I want to highlight that the fuel tanks were for the safety boats. We are extremely disappointed and this has caused a lot of inconvenience.”

Sarah Howlett, the club’s commodore, said: “What is particularly callous is that a man stole the petrol tanks from a safety boat.

“It says a great deal about what sort of man he is.

“As far as the children are concerned, their lack of respect for other people’s property is so disappointing.

“I would like to the them at least apologise to the owner of the boat.”