Up to 10 local sporting clubs have been hit by a spate of copper wire thefts across Melton and Brimbank.
Wire valued at an estimated $130,000 was stolen during seven thefts at a number of sporting grounds across Brimbank between August 2017 and April 2018.
Cairnlea Soccer Club is the latest to be hit, with 120 metres of wire stolen overnight on May 23, forcing the cancellation of training for juniors and seniors and the possible relocation of weekend games.
Cairnlea SC secretary Yagiz Adal said the theft went beyond a simple loss of power.
“It has a huge impact on us as a club, from the perishable food in the fridges, to lights for training, and our ability to run a canteen on the weekends,” Mr Adal said.
“It will probably cost us about $3000, which might as well be $30,000 for a club our size. Even a week without power has a huge impact.
“It’s a massive problem when you hear it happening at other clubs nearby. It affects hundreds of people.”
About $50,000 of wiring was stolen from Dempster Park in Sunshine North.
Wire thefts have also been reported inthe Melton area at Arnolds Creek, MacPherson Park, Bridge Road Sports Precinct and Diggers Rest Recreation Reserve.
Copper wire was also stolen from the train line between Melton and Rockbank, causing long delays and cancellation of V/Line services on May 23.
It is believed each of the thefts occurred overnight and the heavy wire would require specific tools (portable grinders and
drills, and a large vehicle) and expertise to move.
Detective Senior Sergeant James Sullivan of Brimbank CIU said there were now up to 10 clubs affected by the thefts and police were investigating if the incidents were connected.
“It is sad when children turn up on Friday night to play football and there are no lights,” Detective Senior Sergeant Sullivan said.
Article link: http://www.starweekly.com.au/news/clubs-left-in-the-dark-2/