Pokies target in Benalla Golf Club thefts

THIEVES armed with crowbars have broken into the Benalla Golf Club before prying open several poker machines and fleeing with cash.

Two men wearing balaclavas and gloves smashed their way inside the Mansfield Road venue about 2.30am yesterday.

An alarm was activated, the men were inside for nine minutes and targeted nine machines.

Police believe the off-enders targeted the Tatura Golf Club last Friday, and may have been involved in a robbery at the Benalla Bowls Club about two months ago.

Poker machines were targeted on all occasions.

“They appear to be well-organised and equipped,” Detective Jason Frost said.

“We believe two people were involved, and possibly a third person.

“They left with a reasonable amount of cash and caused approximately $15,000 worth of damage.”

The club has about 25 machines and the incident was captured by security cameras.

Anyone with information should phone Benalla police on (03) 5760 0200.