Van­dalised toi­let dam­age bill may rise

The Tatura Guardian - - News - By Tara Whitsed Wit­nesses can phone Det Jeff Wren at Shep­par­ton Po­lice Sta­tion on 5820 5777 or Crime Stop­pers on 1800 333 000.

Sig­nif­i­cant van­dal­ism to the Tatura Swim­ming Com­plex will cost at least $2500 to re­pair af­ter the site was bro­ken into last week­end.

Po­lice are in­ves­ti­gat­ing a de­lib­er­ately lit fire in­side the male toi­lets at the pool that oc­curred in the early hours of Satur­day, March 25.

Shep­par­ton Po­lice Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tion Unit’s Troy Wick­ham said they in­ter­viewed two teenage males, aged 13 and 15 years, last week about the mat­ter and they were is­sued with cau­tions.

‘‘We’re still mak­ing in­quiries into a third male,’’ he said.

It was be­lieved some­time be­tween 1.20 am and 1.40 am on Satur­day, March 25, three males were seen run­ning from the pool.

‘‘Of­fend­ers have ig­nited toi­let pa­per in a toi­let bowl, which has spread and caused ex­ten­sive dam­age to the toi­let and the cu­bi­cle,’’ Shep­par­ton Po­lice Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tion Unit De­tec­tive Jeff Wren said.

Greater Shep­par­ton City Coun­cil com­mu­nity di­rec­tor Kaye Thomson said de­pend­ing on how much smoke dam­age was dis­cov­ered, the es­ti­mated bill could rise.

‘‘By the time we get the change rooms cleaned up, re­painted and then get a new toi­let and plumb­ing com­pleted the dam­age bill will be over $2500,’’ Ms Thomson said.

‘‘This dan­ger­ous act of dam­ag­ing prop­erty could have re­sulted in peo­ple be­ing in­jured.

‘‘It also ends up cost­ing coun­cil and com­mu­nity fi­nan­cially.’’

Pool com­mit­teemem­ber Gary Whyte said it was dis­ap­point­ing to see the dam­age.

‘‘When staff and the com­mu­ni­ty­worked so hard to have a great sea­son and some­one comes along and does this,’’ he said.

Ms Thomson said it was for­tu­nate the pool’s sea­son had fin­ished on Sun­day, March 19, so the in­ci­dent had not af­fected users of the com­plex.

‘‘How­ever, even so, this is still a ma­jor in­ter­rup­tion as the sum­mer pool staff have fin­ished for the sea­son and we need to al­lo­cate lim­ited re­sources to fol­low up on in­ci­dents like this.’’

The Tatura Coun­try Fire Au­thor­ity unit at­tended the scene and put out the fire and po­lice are cur­rently in­ves­ti­gat­ing the in­ci­dent.

‘‘We are ap­peal­ing for wit­nesses and are en­cour­ag­ing any­one that may have seen any sus­pi­cious be­hav­iour to call po­lice,’’ Det Wren said.

Big bill: The dam­age sus­tained is ex­pected to cost at least $2500 and could rise sig­nif­i­cantly due to smoke dam­age. Pic­ture: Tara Whitsed

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