Members of Wagga Men’s Shed have been left in shock after returning to their beloved shed to find it had been trashed and broken into.
Shortly after inspecting the shed, members were delivered yet another heartbreaking blow, as it was revealed one of the group’s two dogs had been hit by a train and killed after it was let out during the break-in.
A number of items were stolen including the shed’s faithful ute, which was later involved in a police pursuit and found burnt out at Red Hill Road about 5am on Friday morning.
Some cash, laptops and unique pennies out of a memory cupboard were among the stolen items.
President Peter Quinane who found tools beside the gate where the dogs were believed to have been let out, said it was disheartening to see the damage.
“The dogs cost us $400, the ute we brought at auction was $700, that’s the cost without the computers or anything,” he said.
“It’s the first time we’ve been broken into since we had the dogs, at one stage there it was happening three or four times a week.”
Men’s shed treasurer Bob Wighton now hopes the sentimental pennies may help police piece the puzzle together and catch those responsible.
“Some of the stuff we can replace and we have insurance but it’s more the inconvenience than anything,” he said.
“It’s pretty dirty of these people, volunteers work to get it up and running and these boofheads come in and steal our things.”
Mr Wighton said the most disturbing part of the break-in was that it appeared to be planned.
“Burning out cars seems to be the trend nowadays,” he said.
“They seemed to know what they were doing and what they were after though.”
While there was minimal damage to the shed, the thieves appeared to have made their way through a locked roller door to steal the car sometime between midnight and 4.30am.
“It’s a bit of a pain in the butt – pretty disappointing,” he said.
“It’s a real nuisance when all our work is done voluntarily.”
Wagga police are still investigating the pursuit.
The driver of the stolen ute is yet to be arrested or charged.