GUTLESS thieves ransacked the Nyora Recreation Reserve last week – stealing alcohol, food, and CCTV recording devices – with an expected $10,000 clean-up bill.
And the thieves walked away with around $1000 worth of alcohol, laptops, power tools, and girls’ netball uniforms.
Police are investigating if they’re connected to a series of other robberies around Lang Lang.
They also broke a $7500 breathalyser in an attempt to get to a stash of around $100 in coins.
“They’ve just trashed the whole lot,” said reserve President Brett Hume.
He said it looks like the thieves were looking for cash or other valuables, going through almost every cupboard, container, microwave and oven.
“They even took the top off one of the vacuums to see if we stored valuables in there.”
But the community’s not taken the brazen attack on the reserve lying down, with locals coming together to ensure business can return to normal as soon as possible. A community dinner is held in the clubrooms every Friday night. It’s like the town’s pub.
They usually get between 40 and 70 guests.
“We’re not just a sports facility, we’re a community facility,” he said.
“These thieves aren’t just having a go at the clubs. They’re having a go at the whole community.”
It’s the third robbery in the last 14 years – although the other two weren’t nearly as well-organised as this one.
Despite the best efforts of the reserve committee to ensure security is tight, the extensive CCTV, lighting, alarm system, and locks were no match for the thieves.
They broke into the power box and cut the power at around 1.45am, as well as smashing up the CCTV recording device.
“We’ve got a good, well we thought it was good, security set-up.”
He said the reserve committee would review security arrangements.
Burglars also targeted the Men’s Shed, football and cricket store rooms, and netball rooms.
“They must have been here a while – breaking into every single room on-site,” said Brett.
“They took quite a few slabs of pre-mixed drinks. They were intent on getting in, no doubt about it.”
Thieves also loaded lots of potato chip bags into a bin – but it was left at the reserve.
Brett praised the efforts of the local community, who have offered plenty of support.
On the same night, two Lang Lang businesses were also targeted – with a company ute later found burnt out in Devon Meadows.
If anyone has any information on the crimes, including any unusual vehicle traffic in and around the reserve or Grundy Avenue, contact the Wonthaggi Police Station.
Nyora fights back