A WOMAN has criticised the Dolphin Centre after she had several hundreds of pounds worth of belongings stolen from a locker there whilst swimming.

Lorraine Lunnon was taking her son and her nephew swimming in the half term holiday, when she returned to her locker to find it had been forced open with a crowbar, and all of her belongings had been stolen.

Her coat had been taken with her purse containing £50 in cash and all of her bank cards. The thief had also taken her keyring containing her house key and only car key, which will cost more than £200 to replace, along with her mobile phone which was worth £100. The theft has meant she’s had to have locks changed, and bank cards cancelled.

She said: “I just couldn’t believe it, I kept saying to them ‘I thought you were meant to pay and no-one could go into those changing rooms’ but I went back the next day to get some photos of the locker, and nobody stopped me.

“It’s affected my son really badly, he’s been really quiet. He doesn’t want to be on his own, he doesn’t want to go swimming again, and the same with my nephew.

“You pay for your lockers, and you think your stuff will be safe in there. I can’t understand why nobody saw anything. I would never go back there, never.”

The lockers are situated in busy changing rooms that are usually bustling with users of the centre’s facilities, but the incident was the second to take place at the centre over the break, and staff are being vigilant about preventing further incidents.

Centre manager Jon Trevillion said: “The lockers that are used are as secure as they can be. Someone has come in with what we suspect is a crow bar and damaged the lockers substantially to get in.

“This matter is taken very seriously and we reported the matters to the police on behalf of the customers concerned at the time. We have recorded CCTV footage for the attention of the police as well. In light of these incidents, we have put up posters around the centre to alert customers to be extra vigilant and have increased staff patrols in the changing rooms.

“It shouldn’t put people off using the centre. This is only the second incident I’m aware of in the five years I’ve been here.”

West Mercia Police have advised people to only bring the cash they need when visiting the leisure centre, and to make sure no-one seems to be hanging around the changing room and watching them put valuables in their locker.