Thieves raid campdraft group
THE Mallanganee Campdraft Society is the latest victim of farm equipment thefts across the Northern Rivers.
Mallanganee Campdraft Society president Lawrence Williams said 20 tubular steel panels, used as portable cattle yards, were taken sometime after their annual campdraft event finished last Sunday at 6.30pm and 6.30am on Monday, when organisers returned to the Mallanganee Showground to pack up.
“We came back and they were all gone,” he said.
Richmond Local Area Command crime manager Detective Inspector Greg Moore has warned rural residents to secure power tools and farming equipment after a spike in thefts targeting rural sheds and tray-back utes since April.
Detective Inspector Moore said there had been a noticeable inc-rease in thefts in theBonalbo, Ellangowan, Tatham, Kyogle and Woodenbong districts, with thieves targeting items including chainsaws, generators and power tools.
Mr Williams said the Mallanganee Campdraft Society hoped someone would come forward with information on the theft of the panels.
“If anybody happened to see anything, like a vehicle with cattle yard panels on the back, on Sunday night or Monday morning, that information would be very much appreciated,” he said.
“Whoever took these was probably a cattle owner who knows what we use them for and what they’re worth.”
However, Mr Williams was relieved the thieves had waited until after the campdraft to steal the panels.
“We had them set up the weekend prior to the event, so I don’t know why they’d wait to take them,” he said.
“But it was nice of them to wait until the event was over before they pinched them.”
To make matters worse, the Mallanganee Campdraft Society had borrowed the cattle yard panels from the Bonalbo Show Society because they could not afford their own.
“To build permanent cattle yards at the showground would cost us around $40,000,” Mr Williams said.
“Now we’ll have to replace the stolen panels with the little bit of money we made out of the weekend.”
Mr Williams said the panels were worth $3120. Police said the missing panels measured 2.2 metres and 1.8 metres in length, and had a rusty appearance.
They are urging anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.