Frowns to smiles

This started as a story about the disappointment of the junior rugby league community after thieves stole the lollies and drinks from their fundraising canteen, twice.

Disappointed junior league players Henry Hodges and Jonah Little ... their frowns are now turning to smiles with the support of the community.

Disappointed junior league players Henry Hodges and Jonah Little ... their frowns are now turning to smiles with the support of the community.

But the story’s been turned on its head, because community members and businesses have put their hands in their pockets to help install a security camera, security screen and sensor lights at the clubhouse to deter anything similar in future. 

Forbes Junior Magpies president Pete Cook put an appeal on social media mid this week for people to report any information about the break-ins to police after their canteen was broken into for a second time.

Thieves have accessed the fully fenced grounds at Spooner Oval, prepared with bolt cutters or similar to cut their way in to the canteen.

The spirit in the club and the willingness to help, it’s a bit overwhelming.

Pete Cook, club president

The club put new, stronger locks on the canteen after the first break-in, but the thieves smashed through those as well. 

It appears all the thieves want are the drinks and lollies that are sold through the canteen when the junior Magpies host gala days. 

It was disheartening, Mr Cook said, as parents and grandparents volunteer their time to serve in the canteen so that the proceeds can help pay for jerseys and equipment for the kids. 

But if the theft was disheartening, the community’s response has been just the opposite. 

By the time Mr Cook checked in on the post at the end of his work day, the community had started to chip in towards security measures.

Parents had started offering $10 or $20, then Williams Transport offered a security camera and Acheson’s Home Timber and Hardware offered sensor lights. 

“The spirit in the club and the willingness to help, it’s a bit overwhelming,” Mr Cook said. “The police have also been very helpful.”

Police are urging anyone who sees suspicious activity or who has information about the thefts to contact them on 6853 9999. 

They are also investigating the theft of a drill from a Calarie Road property and the theft of a Stihl chainsaw and 20 inch bar, from a Bogan Gate Road property.