TRICKSTERS who fooled sports fans into paying to use a firm's car park before vanishing leaving almost 50 cars trapped had struck before.
Police now believe the thieves had used the same scam at the same car park before the Giants match last Friday night - but charged even more that time.
The car park owned by Jewson's builders supplies on St Andrew's Road was protected by a large bollard which could sink into the ground to let cars pass over.
It was last seen to be working on Good Friday morning and the car park was usually used by staff who work at Jewson's headquarters on nearby Leeds Road.
But the fraudsters damaged the wiring to the automatic keypad and yanked the bollard out of the ground on Friday and are then thought to have charged rugby league fans £3.50 for the privilege to park there.
They had even daubed `Secure Car Park' on handmade signs.
They returned on Tuesday evening and did the same trick with Town and Chesterfield fans before Town's disappointing 2-1 home defeat.
But this time they charged £2.50 and after 49 cars parked there shoved the original bollard back into the ground with such force it was thought to be jammed solid so no-one could get it out again.
Fire crews had to use an electric saw to slice through another pole and a height restriction barrier so people could get home.
They needed to act fast partly because a woman who had travelled from Chesterfield had to get back to take medication.
Jewson's maintenance manager Bruce Thackray said: "Putting the bollard back in seems to have been act of pure vindictiveness.
"The electrics had been ripped out so it was completely inoperable."
It will cost £5,000 to repair - yet the thieves will have stolen only about £200 from their unsuspecting victims.
Two white men took the money on Tuesday evening - and one of them was wearing a fluorescent jacket.
Det Chief Insp Tony Craven, who was involved in policing the match, said: "We would urge people affected by this nasty little scam to contact us if they have good descriptions of the two men who took the money or any other information which could help the inquiry.
"It tied up vital police and fire service resources."
Football liaison officer Pc Mick Houseman added: "It may be people passing saw the barrier being removed last Friday and we would certainly like to speak to them.
"It could be a specialist piece of machinery was needed.
"Some fans will not have realised they have been duped until now."
Contact Pc Houseman via Huddersfield police helpdesk on 01484 436659.