Thefts cause group pain

Hundreds of residents attended the Trail of Lights event, held along the Federation Trail. Photo: Supplied

By Alesha Capone

The theft of about $30,000 of equipment could force the Williams Landing Estate Residents’ Association to shut down.

Generators, a marquee and lighting used by WLERA to host last month’s Trail of Lights community event has been stolen from a locked storage container on Garran Street, Truganina.

Thieves cut padlocks to the container some time between 5pm on September 29 and 1pm on October 1.

WLERA president Ian MacGowan said the stolen generators, valued at $27,000, had been rented from Kennards Hire in Werribee.

Although WLERA had taken out insurance for the Trail of Lights event, the association is not sure if the insurance would cover the stolen items.

Mr MacGowan said it is also unclear if Kennards’ insurance would cover the stolen generators.

“If the cost of these goods are not covered by either our insurance or by Kennards, WLERA will be forced to be wound up,” Mr MacGowan said.

“WLERA is a small community group and doesn’t have the funds to cover the full replacement costs of the equipment.

“If we can’t cover the costs we may need to officially wind up the organisation and liquidate what little assets we have to cover the liability, although that still will not cover the cost of the generators.

“It depends on whether Kennards pursues the group for the costs or choose to cover the loss under their insurance.”

Mr MacGowan said that if the WLERA was forced to wind up, it would put its other community activities “in jeopardy” including the Williams Landing Community Garden.

A Kennards Hire spokesperson said: “We have spoken to a representative of WLERA and they are aware that the police are doing everything they can to recover the generators.”

Police have recovered two of the generators from a Werribee house.

During the school holidays, thieves also broke into a storage container at Truganina South Primary School, stealing bicycles and sports equipment.

Principal Linda Danese said the bikes were used in the school’s bicycle education program, for pupils who did not own a bike.

Anyone with information about the thefts can contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.