Vandals hit groups hard
Kids and volunteers hurt most
Cupboards of food were left bare as well as the Paraonui Sea Scouts’ pockets after a break-in to their hall.
Last week Scouts leader Lisa Clarkin arrived at the Baird Rd hall where the window was smashed. The art cupboard had been ransacked, rice bubbles were scattered across the kitchen floor and cans of baked beans had been ripped open with a knife.
‘‘ If they had looked in the drawers they would have found a can opener.’’
But the break-in came as no surprise to the young Scouts.
‘‘It would happen every week. It’s slowed down since daylight savings so it’s mostly in the winter,’’ Clarkin said.
What was designed to be a safe haven for 5 to 18-year-old youths has turned into a vandals’ playground
‘‘They [Scouts] get really angry . . . we used to have sleepouts in their den but we’ll go camping instead now.’’
The outside of the den is covered in patch- up jobs. And despite best efforts, new holes and meaningless green tagging have taken the spotlight again.
Clarkin said it would cost about $ 3000 for a replacement and paint.
Plans are in place to hold a ‘‘ working bee’’ the day after Christmas but it is an unnecessary expense, Clarkin said.
‘‘It’s the same parents that help and I really appreciate it but we want to be out on the water in the summer.’’
While the group is feeling the brunt of it all, it seemed they are not the only ones.
Tokoroa and Putaruru Girl Guides treasurer Pauline Gill said their Putaruru hall was often targeted.
The latest incident was last month when a window was smashed, wasting another $200, she said.
‘‘It comes out of our pockets . . . it’s all volunteers and it takes away from the girls.’’
She said what could have been spent on activities is used to cover the vandalism. The hall has not been burgled but she said the tagging, broken windows and even stolen fuses are all ‘‘annoying’’ to deal with.
During one Christmas period the same window was smashed three times.
‘‘Usually the worst is when we get the Girl Guide biscuit deliveries.’’
Co- operating Church suffered the same fate with a pitcher of wine, food and a toaster taken this month.
Putaruru Senior Sergeant Jason Shailer says there has been a few burglaries to non- profit organisations and op-shops this year.
‘‘I just think if you’re that desperate to rip off something like that then you need to get a job.’’
Hard done by: Paraonui Sea Scouts Lloyd Kendall, left, Stephen and Susan Raynel are frustrated every time their den is vandalised.