Softball’s hard crime

Casey Softball Association president Dot Burke at the storage container where items were stolen. 191032_01. Picture: ROB CAREW

By Brendan Rees

Casey Softball has been left devastated after more than $8,000 of maintenance equipment was stolen during a smash-and-grab at Sweeney Reserve in Berwick.

President Dot Bourke said a ride-on-mower worth $6,000 was taken from a temporary shipping container sometime on Thursday 21 February and the early hours of Sunday 2 February.

A push lawn mower, two weed blowers, a whipper snipper, two angle grinders, a cordless drill and more were also allegedly stolen in the raid.

According to Ms Bourke the bandits used bolt cutters to cut through the padlocks of the storage container.

“The members of the association are devastated that these people can be so callous as to steal from a sporting organisation,” she said.

She said the club was undergoing an upgrade with containers needed as new club rooms were being constructed.

Ms Bourke said the club wasn’t sure how it was going to make up the loss: “It will take a couple of years for us to get over the expenses that replacing this equipment will cost.”

“To whoever did this, think of all the kids and adults you have just disadvantaged.

“The theft of the ride on lawn mower means that now our volunteers will have to hand mow some of our diamonds in order for them to be safe to play on,” she said.

“We were naive to think the equipment would be safe.”

Casey Softball has been without its club rooms for the whole of this current playing season.

“It is the first time since the building works have been in progress that we have been robbed,” Ms Bourke said.

“Softball is a family sport and we try to keep our fees low to encourage more families to play – something like this does not help us at all.

“The use of the containers, whilst not ideal, made it so we could keep equipment at the grounds rather than transporting it back and forth every week,” she said.

Narre Warren Police are investigating.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.