Thieves hit raiders

AN estimated $5000 worth of alcohol and sporting goods were stolen during a brazen late-night robbery at the Tweed Coast Raiders sports club on Tuesday.

The thieves smashed a rear window and climbed into a dressing room at the Cabarita club, before using bolt cutters to break into a locked fridge and a cupboard containing strapping gear and footballs.

Four slabs of bourbon, two slabs of rum, three slabs of beer and two trays of vodka drinks were taken during the raid.

The strapping gear and footballs were also stolen. Anne Hurst, caretaker at the Les Burger sporting field, came across the damage early yesterday.

She found the dressing room full of glass from the smashed window and broken padlocks and chains strewn on the floor.

Lynn Burger, licensee and treasurer of Tweed Coast Raiders seniors, said the club would now have to come up with the cash to replace the missing stock and that the players could miss out on other things as a result.

“They smashed a window after trying to bolt-cut their way through the locked door,” Ms Burger said. “They took all the alcohol. They've used crates to carry it out.

“I don't know whether the footballs were marked, but we use them for training.”

The thieves also tried to gain access to a stock room full of food and other canteen items, but failed.

A number of dirty footprints lined the walls inside the dressing shed, where they had also tried to climb into the ceiling by removing roof panels.

“It's just disappointing,” Ms Burger said.

“We've always had problems out here with break-ins - that's why we have caretakers.

“I think they are local kids because they knew where the caretakers' office is and they have deliberately come the other way.

“It's going to cost us $2000 to replace the alcohol. We've got one more home game this season and that (the stolen drinks) would have done us for that last game and run us dry, but now I have to go out and purchase another $2000 worth of alcohol.

“We're having a meeting with (Tweed Shire) council on Tuesday in regards to getting bars put on the windows.”

Kingscliff Police yesterday attended at the scene, where they surveyed the damage.

“They're going to send someone down to take fingerprints,” Ms Burger said.

The dressing room is used by the junior Raiders players - from under 10s up - and the seniors.

Due to the nature of the robbery, Ms Burger suspects the offenders to be locals.

“It was someone who knows the set-up, knew where everything was and exactly what they needed - a big pair of bolt cutters,” she said.

Ms Hurst was visibly upset by the robbery yesterday. “The kids just have no respect for the club,” she said. “The parents and adults put in so many hours volunteering their time.”

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