A digger was badly damaged and cash, laptops, cellphones, walkie-talkies and point of sale equipment stolen when thieves broke into the community refuse and recycling centre in Snells Beach in the early hours of Friday, February 18.
At least three men wearing hi-viz gear drove a large truck through the gates at the top end of the Lawrie Road site around 1am and broke into Mahurangi Wastebusters’ office and pay station.
Director Matthew Luxon said the thieves were obviously targeting the digger, but when they couldn’t start it up, ripped out all the ignition and wiring and tried to hot wire it. When that didn’t work, the gang turned their attention to stealing anything they could from the office.
“We’ve only just reopened two weeks ago, so it’s a bit of a setback, really,” he said. “We’ve had to change the locks on all our plant and equipment, and we’re having to spend more time and money on security. It will put us out for a while, but we are still open.”
He said the cost of the damage and value of stolen items had been estimated at $15,000.
Luxon expressed his gratitude to the Little Digger Co, which supplied the digger and was doing all it could to help since the raid, and Matakana Glass, which had replaced the broken office windows free of charge.
Anyone who knows or witnessed anything concerning the break-in should contact Warkworth Police on 425 8109 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.