THIEVES broke into a popular skating rink - by smashing through the wall - causing thousands of pounds of damage.

Chris Scutt, of Stour Close, Dovercourt, who runs Dovercourt Skating Rink, said he discovered the damage after yobs hit the building in Lower Marine Parade.

He said the raiders went through the wall and took the alarm system down before they went into the building.

It is the eighth time the skating rink has been targeted by thieves or vandals.

Mr Scutt, 43, said: “This time they stole electrical equipment worth of about £2,500 and did quite a lot of damage inside, worth about £1,500.

“They damaged the fire door and just generally made loads of mess.

“I believe the break-in was planned and they had to have some equipment with them to do that.

“Now part of the area isn’t usable at all but hopefully we will be open during half-term.”

Mr Scutt said he hopes he will be able to finish the repairs by then.

He added: “I feel really angry, disappointed in people and I feel let down.

“Then when you have this happen again, you feel targeted because it had happened before - seven times.

“The last time they broke in was about ten months ago.”

The business owner said he arrived at the rink to find a lot of plasterboard all over the place.

He said he is shocked the thieves just went through a wall to get in.

“I am just hoping some people saw them,” he added.

“It would be lovely if people would say something if they saw it happen.

“I’m not sure how many people were involved but I would say more than two.”

Mr Scutt said he reported the incident which he believes happened over the weekend of January 25 and 26 to the police.

Anyone with information should contact Essex Police on 101 quoting 42/17444/20 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.