A SOUTHAMPTON community centre is counting the cost after the third break-in in as many months.

Now the hunt is on for three hooded youths after they were caught red-handed on CCTV cameras at St Denys Community Centre.

Although nothing was stolen, the youths caused thousands of pounds worth of damage trashing offices and ransacking filing cabinets.

It is believed the trio disabled an alarm system before one of the gang entered the building through a skylight in the kitchen.

Mike Gausden, 61, vice-chairman of the community centre, said: "It's not a case of will they be found, but when.

"It's a shame that we have spent all this extra money on security and repairs which could have been spent on the people using the centre. We have a tennis court for example but no net."

After the last break-in, £1,400 was spent on security and staff at the centre say the same amount will be spent again on further measures.

Lyn Noice, chairwoman for the community centre, said: "We are very annoyed because they caused damage for the sake of it.

"They trashed the building but didn't actually steal anything."

A police spokesman said: "This burglary appears to have been planned and it seems likely those responsible knew it was used as a day centre by a charity, making it even worse.

"They didn't find anything to take and left empty-handed after causing considerable damage.

"The burglars were caught on CCTV and we are also looking at forensic evidence. There are some suspects who we are now looking to trace."

The incident happened at the centre on Priory Road at 2.50am on Monday and follows previous break-ins on November 28 and February 2.

Anyone with any information should call Hampshire police on 0845 045 4545.