Geraldton Scouts ‘devastated’ after break-in forces trip cancellations

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Liam BeattyGeraldton Guardian
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Dozens of items were stolen from the Geraldton Scouts Hall.
Camera IconDozens of items were stolen from the Geraldton Scouts Hall. Credit: Kerrie Wann

The Geraldton Scout Group has expressed “utter devastation” after its hall on Sanford Street was burgled this month, with thieves making off with more than $7000 of camping equipment.

Geraldton Scouts koala group leader Kerrie Wann said she believed the incident had been “thoroughly planned” because a hole was noticed cut into their back fence a week before the break-in.

“We went down on Sunday morning to look at fixing it but that’s when we noticed the break-in,” she said.

“They’ve come through the hole and broken into our storage shed. Lots of stuff was gone.”

Ms Wann said the scouts, their families and the volunteers who ran the organisation were devastated by the burglary, which had forced the cancellation of a camping trip on June 22.

“It’s really just disappointing, we’re all volunteers just trying to help keep the kids active,” she said.

“We’re still working out what’s missing but I think the cost to us will easily be in the thousands.”

She said tents, gas lights, gas bottles, burners, cooking equipment, tarps and more had been taken.

Scouts volunteers arrived at the hall on June 6 to begin repairs to the damaged wall when the burglary was first noticed.

They believe the break-in occurred the night before.

“We’ve got a great community and parents have already asked what they could do to help fundraise to replace what we’ve lost,” Ms Wann said.

The incident has been reported to Geraldton Police but losing the equipment has already impacted their operations.

“We managed to get together enough donated items for our camping trip last weekend to Figtree Crossing, but the older kids have already had to cancel a trip,” she said.

She said everything is labelled in black marker with the words “Geraldton Scout Group”, urging anyone who sees camping equipment for sale to report it to police if they think it’s suspicious.

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