Thieves target Maitland Radio Off Road Car Club

DISGUSTED: Peter Hickey, president of Maitland Radio Off-Road Car Club, which has suffered two break-ins. Picture: Simone De Peak

DISGUSTED: Peter Hickey, president of Maitland Radio Off-Road Car Club, which has suffered two break-ins. Picture: Simone De Peak

Members of a community club are reeling after thieves struck their home base twice in two days.

Thieves broke into the locked bunker near the radio controlled car track at Harold Gregson Reserve, near the Visitor Information Centre, on Thursday and Friday night.

They stole an estimated $3500 worth of equipment, including two blowers, a power generator, water pump, six gazebos and a large Esky.

During the second break-in, the thieves trashed the facility – they threw coffee and Milo across the floor and took inexpensive items including a set of tongs.

Fairfax Media understands the Esky was so large and heavy that the bandits would have needed a trailer to haul it from the scene.

Maitland Radio Off Road Car Club president Peter Hickey said members were “disgusted” by the incidents.

When he discovered on Friday that the club had been robbed, he spent $100 and four hours installing new locks on the facility.

But when he returned the following day, he found that the locks had been cut off.

“As soon as I drove up [on Saturday] and saw the door ajar I let out every swear word under the sun,” he said.

“It’s just really disappointing.

“To have to replace all that does hurt a lot.

“We’re trying to work out a way to beef up security, but I won’t be storing any of our stuff there any more.

“The locks only keep the honest people out.”

Mr Hickey said the club was funded entirely by fees from its 75 members and takings from sausage sizzles and canteen sales at race events.

SHATTERED: Peter Hickey, president of Maitland Radio Off-Road Car Club, at the organisation's track. Picture: Simone De Peak

SHATTERED: Peter Hickey, president of Maitland Radio Off-Road Car Club, at the organisation's track. Picture: Simone De Peak

But Mr Hickey said, in a fortunate turn of events, a set of outdoor lights worth about $3000 were not taken during the first robbery and he had put the equipment in a locked safe before the second theft.

“We try to spend our money looking after a track that the whole community can use,” he said.

“Last year we pumped $14,000 into that track.”

Anyone with information about the robberies should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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