Raiders caught ransacking a North Maidenhead Cricket Club confronted two club members with a sledgehammer before escaping.
Two balaclava-clad thieves smashed their way in to the clubhouse on North Town Moor during the early hours of Sunday, less than 15 minutes after it had been locked up following a birthday party.
Club social secretary and security keyholder Mike Dawson was at home when he was alerted by the alarm system at 2.12am. The 42-year-old's wife Tracey said they had only left the clubhouse shortly before 2am after tidying the venue up following the party.
"It's horrible to think that we were probably being watched through the window," she said.
Mike, who lives nearby, returned to the clubhouse with his brother David expecting helium balloons to have been the cause of the alarm. The men arrived and looked through the window to see the thieves smashing their way in to a fruit machine.
A metal window shutter, several windows and pool table were also smashed in the raid.
Mike shouted to the pair that police were on their way. They swore and approached them wielding the sledgehammer. Mike and his brother backed away and the criminals fled.
The club believes more than £500 was snatched by the pair.
Police are appealing for information. Call PC Krisopher Lovell on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
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