Theft ‘gutting’ for BMX club

STOLEN: Have you seen these gazebos? Photo supplied

A local BMX club is offering a $500 reward after falling victim to theft for a second time over Queen’s Birthday Weekend.

The Mountain Raiders BMX Club, based at Lloyd Elsmore Park had its two new team gazebos stolen over the long weekend. The gazebos, with the club’s signage on them, cost around $3000 and were only bought by the club just before Christmas.

Club president Adam Darby said the repeated theft is “really gutting.”

“We’re a community facility. It’s not exclusively for the club, it’s a public facility and anyone can go and ride there and it’s a very, very popular facility as well.

“We’ve got 200 club members but [there’s] probably 10 times that of the general public who use it as well.”

The club has been based at the Lloyd Elsmore since 2012 after they moved from the old Pigeon Mountain track and Mr Darby said they’d had no issues with vandalism at the new site until around 18 months ago.

The first time saw their industrial grade power tools stolen, which were replaced through a combination of donations and club funds and are now stored at a property off site.

The club, which operates on donations and minimal funds, has building insurance but not contents insurance due to the high excess involved, so the stolen items were not able to be replaced under insurance.

“We thought once they realised there’s not much value in there that they wouldn’t bother coming back, but we suspect the same people keep coming back,” said Mr Darby.

“They probably thought we’d replace them [the tools] under insurance and came back to steal the new ones then realised they weren’t there and thought ‘what else can we steal?'”

The answer was apparently the heavily branded gazebos that had been used only three times.

Mr Darby said the thieves may not have been aware of the extent of the branding on the gazebos, which were covered while in storage and may attempt to sell the frames.

“There’s nothing in there [the shed] that would be that valuable to other people, but they’re things which are valuable to the club. The barbeque, which was donated by Masport, was also stolen, is our main source of fundraising for the club.”

He said the club is at a loss as to how to deter the thieves, who already break into the steel shipping container which is locked with “big, expensive padlocks” and damage them in the process.

“We put in so much personal time and effort, we’ve made all this stuff happen…it’s not a victimless crime.”