Members of the community were shocked and disheartened to find that the solar panels, battery and controls had been stolen from Waiuku cenotaph.
On Sunday 12 November, those who were preparing to pay their respects for Armistice Day came across the theft, which is believed to have occurred sometime over the weekend.
“The stainless control box had been forced open and both locks were damaged. The battery, solar controls and wiring were all gone, plus, both solar panels and the mounting frame were stolen. The cables have been cut off just above ground level, however, all three LED spotlights are still in place,” said Barry Gibbons, Chairman of the West Franklin Community Trust.
“It is just really disappointing. These were paid for from the profits of the 100 years WW1 events in 2014 and installed by Waiuku RSA and the West Franklin Community Trust.”
Barry explained that the lighting had been installed over a year ago, and that this was the first incident of damage and theft at cenotaph for many years.
“It is a pretty miserable theft, especially in the lead up to Armistice Day, which has real and significant meaning to our RSA and community members.”
The theft has been lodged with Police, and Barry said they are currently gathering more information for the Police and for insurance purposes.
Waiuku Sergeant Graeme Wood described the theft as ‘appalling.’
“To steal from the cenotaph is totally disrespectful. We are the society that we tolerate, and if anyone has any information needs to contact Police straight away by either calling the station on 09-236 502, or Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.”