Community groups and Waimakariri District Council staff are dismayed after discovering the Cust Community Centre was burgled earlier this week.
The building is facility well-used by local community groups and was broken into sometime between Tuesday night and Wednesday afternoon.
The West Eyreton Small-bore Rifle Club had up to ten rifles stolen from the building. The 22 gauge competition shooting rifles were stored in a locked cupboard, however the bolts for the guns were kept off-site, rendering the stolen firearms unusable.
Council staff have attempted to contact the Rifle Club many of whose members are away in Wellington for a competition.
The Cust/West Eyreton Playcentre which uses the building twice each week lost a laptop, tablet and a Wi-Fi router to the thieves. Cupboards storing toys were also tipped out, leaving a large mess to be cleaned up.
President of the Playcentre, Fiona Millar, says the loss is a real blow to the parent-run co-operative.
“The Playcentre is a great support for families in the area and we feel really horrible that someone would want to disturb our home away from home. We are just really hoping to get our laptop back with the many photos of our tamariki on it.”
She says the stolen laptop is distinctive and describes it as an older DELL model with a red coloured lid.
Council Community facilities co-ordinator, Simon Kong, says a burglary report has been filed and he encourages anyone with information to contact the police.
“While there does not appear to be any damage to the building itself, it is a setback to the local community. Many of the stolen items will be worthless to the thieves, so we urge them to return the equipment.”
Simon says security at the Community Centre will be reviewed following the break-in and the council will continue to work closely with the affected groups.