Updated with video: The Specials rock Friars but phone thieves do their best to spoil show

Nearly 2,000 fans enjoyed the amazing Friars gig at the Waterside Theatre but the night was spoilt by organised thieves who stole hundreds of pounds worth of mobile phones.

It is believed the gang stole 19 phones as well as purses and wallets at the sell-out Specials show organised by the legendary Friars Club on Friday.

The Specials - photo courtesy of Neale Wareham

The Specials - photo courtesy of Neale Wareham

Friars club founder and promoter David Stopps said: “I can’t believe it. In 44 years of Friars I can never remembering hearing of anything ever being stolen. I’m not saying nothing has been but I’ve never heard anything.

“Suddenly you get this obviously organised crime and it’s completely taken us by surprise. I’m really sorry to the people who had their phones stolen.

“There’s very little you can do about it. It’s very difficult to stop.”

Mr Stopps said the thefts should not marr what was a wonderful evening for Aylesbury and that he had received plenty of compliments about the event.

The theatre said it would make an announcement warning people to take care of their property at the next Friars show when Genesis legend Steve Hackettcomes to town on Thursday.

Mr Stopps added: “I think the announcement would be very sensible. But I don’t expect there to be any problems at Hackett. It seems that it’s targeted at The Specials gigs.

“Terry Hall (lead singer) actually announced it at one show that they had this gang of pickpockets following them around on their tour. It shouldn’t overwhelm the fact it was a great gig.

“Everyone enjoyed it, the band enjoyed it. It should not overshadow the success.”

Police confirmed it had received several reports of stolen property from the gig.