BRAZEN THEFT: Hervey Bay Historical Village and Museum president Harold Collins and volunteer Geo Oliver out the front of a shed where thousands of dollars of landscaping equipment was stolen last week.
BRAZEN THEFT: Hervey Bay Historical Village and Museum president Harold Collins and volunteer Geo Oliver out the front of a shed where thousands of dollars of landscaping equipment was stolen last week. Jessica Lamb

MUSEUM RAIDED: Hunt for thieves who targeted volunteers

A VOLUNTEER-run Hervey Bay organisation was the target of heartless thieves who used bolt cutters to steal about $2000 worth of landscaping equipment.

The Hervey Bay Historical Museum and Village was targeted last Wednesday night.

Bandits broke into a tool shed and stole blowers, hedge trimmers and lawn-mowing equipment. John Andersen, who has been with the museum for 15 years, said this was the second time the tourist attraction had its gardening tools stolen.

"It's bad enough that we had a fire in 2015 which claimed all our tools and machinery and then a break-in later which saw us lose many of our gardening tools,” he said.

"Now we have had another break-in where they again took our portable garden tools.

"It is so disheartening to think someone could do this, it really knocks the wind out of your sails.”

Mr Andersen urged the public to look out for the stolen equipment in second-hand sales.

"Unfortunately modern human nature being what it is there are some characters around that don't realise this museum is run entirely by volunteers,” he said.

"It is a very large tourist attraction, a very big educational centre with over 8000 school children here over the last five years. Next week we have five days in a row with schools.

"We are on five acres of land and we always get comments about how it is so well kept and tidy. We bought all the equipment ourselves and some through grants. We have already had some kind offers to replace some of the tools but we already have had to go and buy expensive battery-operated tools because they are something we can't do without.

"We want to thank the community for their continued support.”

Mr Andersen said a lot of the tools had 'HBM' etched onto them, which could not be easily removed.

"If you should see any...advertised for sale or offered at bargain prices, please contact the police,” he said.

"Hopefully down the track, there will be some result and someone comes to the courts because of this.”

A Queensland Police spokeswoman said no arrests had been made and investigations continued.



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