Police are hunting a suspected serial thief they believe may have carried out an elaborate scam to rob a Scarborough cricket team while they bowled.
Elation quickly turned to misery when victorious Scalby CC returned to the away changing room at Sewerby to find £155 missing from five of the sides wallets.
And the culprit is believed to be grey haired Anthony Tye, who police forces across the country claim is behind a wave of cricket club thefts.
Detectives believe wirey Tye, who also goes under the alias Anthony Smith, may have carried out a spate of thefts in Bristol, as well as Preston and the Midlands.
The 60-year-old is believed to build up a rapport with both teams, duping them into thinking he’s affiliated with the opposition – then striking.
Scalby’s Paul Hesp said Tye was spotted on the benches when the side arrived for the Beckett League clash, and claimed at first he seemed “talkative and pleasant”.
“He seemed to fit in, was knowledgeable about cricket and we just thought he was a Sewerby supporter,” said Paul, adding Tye even helped during drink breaks.
“While we were fielding during the second innings he was seen in our changing room and claimed to have been sorting the toilets.
“But we all now believe this was a diversion while he stole – this only sunk in after the game when Sewerby said they had never seen him before and thought he was with us, we thought he was with them.”
It’s understood Tye allegedly also turned up at Bridlington vs Flixton before hand, but was sent packing.
Other forces have linked Tye with thefts in which laptops and mobiles were taken, although only cash was stolen on Saturday.
A Humberside Police spokesperson said: “A man is wanted for similar offences across the country and Humberside Police would also like to speak to him in connection with this incident.”
Call 101 if you can help.