Help sought to catch thieves

AlburyCity and NSW Police are urging residents to be on the lookout for thieves who are risking the safety of children at local parks.

A recent audit of the city’s playgrounds has found equipment was stolen or vandalised from at least eight parks.

In the most alarming incident, a slide was unbolted from the ground at Jelbart Park, leaving the slide at risk of collapse under the weight of children.

The other incidents included the theft of swings, climbing nets and rails from parks at Oddies Creek, Lara Lakes, and Fellows Park while at Heathwood Park, a seat and table were unbolted and moved.

Police and the council are concerned for the safety of children if the attacks continue.

“Not only are these incidents thefts from local families, they also show a callous disregard for the children who play on the equipment,” said AlburyCity Councillor Henk van de Ven.

“Irresponsible actions such as unbolting children’s slides from the ground could lead to serious injury to youngsters who have a right to expect a safe place to play in our parks.”

Albury Police are urging people who live near our parks to keep an eye out for suspicious behaviour.

“Theft or damage at playgrounds for children is bad enough but tampering with this type of equipment can be very dangerous,” said Inspector Scott Russell.

“Some of the parks are close to homes and busy roads so we’re calling on anyone who’s seen suspicious activities in those playgrounds to contact Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000 and help us to track down the offenders responsible.”

AlburyCity staff have made all of the targeted equipment safe and will continue to monitor the playgrounds as the police investigation continues.

The full list of damage/theft is:

* Jelbart Park – Slide unbolted
* Lara Lakes – Handrail removed
* Oddies Creek – Both swings removed
* Fellows Park – Rail removed
* Oddies Creek –  Rail removed
* Heathwood Park – Seat and table unbolted and moved
* Alexandra Park Dog Park – Screws removed from gate
* Hume Gardens – Swings wrapped around top bar
* Bowna Reserve – Both swings and climbing net removed

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