POLICE are hunting thieves who went on a rampage through a rugby club’s clubhouse before pulling a stag’s head off a wall, removing its antlers and dressing it in a hat and spectacles.

The incident is thought to have happened in the early hours of Tuesday (January 22) morning at Darlington Mowden Park Rugby Club’s current home in Yiewsley Drive.

A spokesperson for Darlington police said the burglars forced their way into the kitchen, bar and the office before ripping the stag’s head off the wall, removing its antlers and putting it in the office’s safe dressed in a hat and glasses.

They also left behind a soft toy monkey which had a balaclava put over its head and a hammer taped to its hand.

The thieves damaged a number of items in the club, including a jukebox, and stole a laptop, TV and a large amount of money. A charity box was also taken, as well as food and drink.

Club secretary Kevin Robinson said: “Everybody is very upset by what’s happened.

“On the face of it, it might seem quite funny what they have done, but unfortunately it is a sign of the times that an individual finds it necessary to do something like this.

“The knock-on effect is financial and distressing to the members. We are hoping that if they have left enough evidence and get caught that they are prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

Darlington Mowden Park Rugby club are expected to move into their new premises at The Northern Echo Area, in Neasham Road, in February.

Anybody with any information is asked to call Darlington police on the non-emergency number, 101.