Bowled over by burglary

Club administration manager Laurie Stevens says the intruders took drinks and other food items from the club''s kitchen. 178688_01. Picture: BRENDAN REES

By Brendan Rees

Casey-South Melbourne Cricket Club has been left reeling after heartless thieves allegedly broke into their club rooms in Cranbourne East last Saturday morning.
Club president Ross Hibbins said intruders made away with about a thousand dollars’ worth of goods after forcing their way through a locked roller door and entering the kitchen area sometime between 4am and 7am at Casey Fields on 10 March.
“They’ve taken a little bit of cash, bit of alcohol, soft drinks, chocolates, chips. So looks like it was kids,” he said.
He said they also rummaged through cupboards.” We had game day food there so took the meat and the cakes, biscuits and stuff.”
“They didn’t seem to go any further than the kitchen. They just got what they could probably carry out to their cars.”
A tin containing about $300 was also taken from the kitchen bench. “We think it was a quick run and grab,” Mr Hibbins said.
The intruders had ripped a door handle off to the players change room but did not gain entry.
However they were able to prise open the kitchen roller door, he said.
He said the club would have to fork out about $700 in damages, adding it probably wouldn’t be worth going through insurance as the excess would be higher.
“It was more frustrating. To go down the tubes $700 or so is hurts quite a lot,” he added.
The club, which is owned by the City of Casey council, is without CCTV cameras. “Given the fact that we’re so isolated at the back there we should be pushing to get cameras.”
“The club can’t afford putting cameras on and the City of Casey haven’t come to the party.”
Club administration manager Laurie Stevens said it was a big setback for the club.
“It’s disgraceful. We get here early to get set up (last Saturday) and took us a couple hours to sort all this out,” he said. “It leaves a bad taste in your mouth.”
He said the thieves also tried to pull the alarm off from the front of the clubrooms but were unsuccessful.
A small power board door was also bent and a lock was broken at the rear where the intruders gained access to the switch box and turned all the power off.
An alarm on the kitchen ceiling was also dismantled, he said.
Mr Stevens said CCTV cameras would be ideal to deter intruders. “We got broken into about 18 months ago. They got through the front door and got into the office and took computers and everything. That was way more costly than this.”

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