Stawell football clubs hit by thieves

Local football clubs have been the targets of thieves.

Local football clubs have been the targets of thieves.

Friday August 11, 4pm

Stawell police have confirmed break-ins at Stawell’s two main football grounds. 

Swifts’ home ground at North Park and Stawell Warriors’ home ground at Central Park have been hit in a string of robberies at sports clubs in recent weeks. 

Swifts president Steve Hoffman said thieves broke in and stole money that was left in the till at the bar at North Park. 

“They forced their way through the roller door. We’re not sure how much money was in there at the time,” he said.

“No other damage was done other than what they did to the door, which has been fixed.”

North Park is set to host the first round of Horsham District Football Netball League finals in three weeks time. 

Stawell Football Netball Club president Debbie Bach said the club’s canteen was broken into as three weeks ago.

Central Park has been a target for thieves regularly over the past year.

“There is never any money on site at the club, we make sure of that,” Ms Bach said.

“They get through the shutter of the canteen and take lollies, sometimes cans of soft drink.”

Ms Bach said it was frustrating to have to worry about the security of the club.

“It is just a nuisance. It has cost us quite a bit of money to boost security,” she said.

“We work hard to raise money for the club and then these people come along and make things difficult, it is very frustrating.”  

Stawell Sergeant Bill Alford said the thefts at North Park, Central Park and the Great Western Football Netball Club were believed to be unrelated. 

Sergeant Alford advised clubs to be vigilant with their security measures.

“We urge sporting clubs to be well aware of their own security,” he said.

Mr Hoffman said it was “pathetic” for people to be targeting sporting organisations.   

“Why pick on community sports clubs, go and find a job,” he said. 

EARLIER

Heartless thieves targeted the Great Western Football Netball Club only days out from its final home and away game for the season.

Four men were caught on CCTV cameras breaking into the club, smashing the inside of the secretary’s office and ripping a safe from the wall at 1.40am on Thursday. 

The safe contained the float ahead of Saturday’s football and netball games.

Club secretary Danny Hoare said an amount of cash was stolen, but did not wish to disclose the exact figure.

“There is probably a couple of thousands of dollars worth in damage,” he said.

“They smashed the door and safe, and the shelving inside the office.”

A club member excersizing on Thursday morning saw the smashed door and immediately alerted Mr Hoare.

“I was pretty devastated to see the club like that,” he said. 

“It is disappointing to see people robbing a small sport club.

“We struggle for every cent we get,” he said.

Mr Hoare had a clear and stern message for the thieves.

“Return the money, we are only a small club so it really hurts us having this happen,” he said.

“A lot of people at the club are angry so I’m sure they will be caught.

“Leave us alone and go and earn your own money.”

Stawell Sergeant Bill Alford said no there are no leads at this stage.

“We are investigating the incident to our fullest means,” he said.  

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