Thieves smash wall to raid Coraki golf club
By NERIDA BLOK
ROGER WILTON has experienced his share of break-ins but never expected thieves to smash through a brick wall.
Mr Wilton, a director of the 400-member Coraki Golf Club and greens committee chairman, said he was in shock after witnessing the damage caused by vandals to the clubhouse yesterday morning.
The theft has been one of a string of attacks in the town over the past few years leaving residents feeling angry and perplexed.
Mr Wilton said vandals broke in about 4am on Monday using a piece of steel.
Iron security bars were ripped out and a large hole smashed in the brick wall at the back of the club.
He said the vandals got away with 20 cans of Bundaberg rum, bottles of wine, and all the drinks and money from an outdoor vending machine.
"They don't drink Tooheys apparently because there was a fridge full not touched," he said.
Mr Wilton said break-ins had been a common occurrence during his 40 years involvement with the club.
"We had 20 break-ins one year," he said. "We've spent thousands of dollars trying to burglar-proof it. It's been reasonably successful, but you don't anticipate them breaking down a brick wall."
He estimated the repair bill would be around $10,000, including the cost of a cash register wrecked in the attack.
"It's ridiculous," he said.
"The amount they steal is minute compared with the damage they do and the cost to the club. It's frustrating for a little club like this that battles to keep its head above water."
Forensic investigators from Lismore police conducted finger print examinations yesterday.
Richmond Local Area Command crime manager Detective-Inspector Steven Clarke said no arrests had been made but inquiries were continuing.
Coraki resident and Rural Transaction Centre volunteer Joan Farrow said vandalism was an ongoing issue for the town.
"It is a problem," she said. "There's not much for the people to do, and a lot of the young people don't have jobs."
Ms Farrow said infrastructure in Coraki had improved but she thought boredom and the lack of transport were an issue.
"Every long weekend something seems to happen," she said.
Coraki newsagent Bryan Denning disagreed however.
Despite having his 300 kilogram safe stolen last Easter containing more than $5000 in cash and a few thousand dollars worth of scratchies, and a laptop computer taken in November 2004, Mr Denning said vandalism was not rife in Coraki.
"I don't think it's any different from any other town. Every town has its troubles," he said.
"They can't blame boredom or nothing to do. I get bored at home sometimes at the weekend, but I don't go out and trash things."