Children’s books stolen
A brazen cupboard-napping of a community library is the latest chapter in an unlikely war on books, a resident says.
Last Wednesday, the book cupboard was taken from its home outside Mungavin Ave shopping centre in Porirua and loaded into a trailer.
The cupboard, converted from a 1970s airing cupboard, was then dropped off at a secondhand store where it was priced, then put on the shop floor.
Rosie Gallagher, who helped create the library, said she believed it was a middle-aged couple who stole the cupboard - and it wasn’t the first time.
‘‘In October they took all the books out of it and donated some of them to St Vincent de Pauls.
‘‘The police know who they are so will hopefully put a stop to this happening again.’’
Eagle-eyed residents spotted the cupboard in the shop and it was returned, but the books have not been found.
Gallagher said she was delighted to have the cupboard back, but it had been damaged during the theft.
‘‘We got it back, but it’s empty and unusable and really a bit sad.
‘‘I’m pleased that it wasn’t teenagers or children who damaged it, it’s people with a grudge.’’
The cupboard was the brainchild of Gallagher and Cheryl Brown, both members of the Ranui Residents’ Association.
The inspiration for the project came from other communities, which had converted old fridges and phone boxes into book exchanges.
Gallagher and Brown decided the Ranui one should provide children’s books.
Children could borrow or keep the books, which were donated to the cupboard by the community.
Known as Te Kapata Pukapuka, the community facility sits outside Eastside Four Square and is wheeled inside every night.
‘‘It has never been etched, tagged or stolen from at any other time than by these people.’’
Artist Ruth Robertson-Taylor painted the cupboard in homage to Patricia Grace’s childrens book Watercress Tuna and the children of Champion Street, written about the area.
A police spokeswoman said they were looking to speak with
‘‘We got it back, but it's empty and unusable and really a bit sad.’’
someone involved in the theft, but no arrests had been made.
Despite the recent theft Gallagher said it would not stop her and other residents to continue to beautify their community.
‘‘We’re not disheartened - we never are.
‘‘We’re never put off by someone who says it will be damaged - so what if it is?
‘‘We’ll just do it again.’’
Cheryl Brown is happy the Te Kapata Pukapuka children’s book cupboard was found, but is sad the books are all gone.