Thieves steal from disabled supporters
First to arrive at Windara Nursery and Tea Rooms in Casino after the break-in was Dorothy Willis, who opened the kitchen about 4am on Thursday.
“As soon as I walked in I noticed things were out of place,” she said.
Ms Willis has worked at Windara for 10 years and said this was the first major robbery she had known at the centre.
The registered charity is not only a successful nursery and function centre, Windara also provides hospitality and nursery training for intellectually and physically handicapped people.
There are currently 19 supported workers at Windara and yesterday the group sat in the garden as police and forensic teams surveyed the damage.
General manager of Windara, John Platt, said he was ‘gutted to think someone would steal from a place which provides services for people with a disability’.
Many of the supported workers had their lockers opened by the robbers, and Mr Platt said the group had been kept away from the crime scene to avoid distressing them.
“This robbery will not only disrupt our business for a few days, but we’ll have to replace so many things,” he said.
Mr Platt said the final bill for fixing damage and replacing stolen goods wouldn’t be known for a while, but estimated the bill would ‘be a lot more than $10,000’.
“If anyone wants to donate, it would obviously be appreciated and help us replace what has been stolen.”