Trea­sured 45s and car gone

Central Leader - - News - By Janie Smith

Danc­ing has been can­celled at the One­hunga se­nior cit­i­zens hall af­ter thieves made off with nearly 250 records.

Ray Ma­son, who started the Waimarie Round Dance Club three years ago, had his car stolen from the Waller St carpark last Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon.

In the ve­hi­cle were 249 records, as well as speak­ers, leads, wires, four mi­cro­phones and a turntable, worth thou­sands of dol­lars.

Mr Ma­son had just fin­ished a dance class and left the equip­ment in his car while he went to the bank at 3.20pm.

When he re­turned 20 min­utes later, his white 1993 Toy­ota Corona was gone.

“I wept. That’s my whole life’s sav­ings gone, there is so much money in­volved.”

The stolen records were all 45s and most were for round danc­ing, some dat­ing back to the 1940s. There were also sev­eral square danc­ing and coun­try and west­ern records.

Six cou­ples take part in the dance class, which in­volves ball­room danc­ing, waltz, tango, cha cha and rumba.

Mr Ma­son calls the steps for the dancers from cue sheets.

“I do it for the love of it.”

He started buy­ing records in 1964 when he be­came in­volved with danc­ing and says it will be dif­fi­cult to re­place the vin­tage ones.

Mr Ma­son lives with and takes care of his dis­abled el­derly sis­ter in One­hunga and the car was their only means of trans­port.

His car was locked and had a steer­ing lock in place when it was stolen.

“I want peo­ple to be aware that if they are go­ing to park here, they need to have proper se­cu­rity,” he says.

Mr Ma­son hopes the records will be recog­nised if the thieves try to sell them.

“They are no use to any­body else.

“It would be a shame to see them dumped or bro­ken.”

The theft was re­ported to One­hunga po­lice.

Act­ing se­nior sergeant Grant Har­ris says it’s “ex­cep­tion­ally un­for­tu­nate”.

“If peo­ple leave their ve­hi­cle for any pe­riod of time, they need to se­cure it and take their valu­ables with them, or do what they can to con­ceal any valu­ables.”

Any­one with in­for­ma­tion should con­tact the One­hunga po­lice sta­tion on 634-1064.

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Mu­sic stolen: Ray Ma­son had his car and 249 records stolen from the Waller St carpark in One­hunga.

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