Thieves take school's new tramp

JAY BOREHAM
Last updated 08:52 06/12/2012
TRAMP
JAY BOREHAM
DISAPPOINTED: Sir Keith Park Special School principal Kathy Davidson with the remains of one of the chains thieves cut through to steal the school’s trampoline.

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Is your neighbour sporting a brand-spanking Springfree trampoline?

Or has someone just tried to sell you one?

The children and staff at Mangere's Sir Keith Park Special School want to hear from you.

They're hoping someone will spot the one stolen from them last Thursday and get it back to them.

The school for children and young people who have intellectual disabilities or complex special needs only got the tramp three weeks ago, principal Kathy Davidson says.

It was a piece of equipment the school had struggled to purchase, she says.

"Autistic students really need it for when they get sensory overload. They can bounce it out and get themselves into a space where they can go and do some more learning," she says.

The school has been the target of several attacks this year. In the biggest thieves stripped the school's one-bedroom house.

The house is used to teach students everyday living tasks such as cooking, cleaning, laundry and vacuuming.

Everything from the television to the laundry suds was stolen, Ms Davidson says.

"We are aware that where we live and work things go missing a lot. So we put a big chain on the trampoline and chained it to the adventure playground and they've cut right through the chain with boltcutters," she says.

At the end of each school day it was the job of older students to disassemble the safety nets from the trampoline and then tip it up and chain it. But on Thursday they arrived to find nothing but broken chains dangling from the playground.

"It was then they came in and said ‘it's gone, Miss'. They were devastated."

The school is now out of pocket $1300 because its insurance excess is higher than the trampoline's value.

"If someone knows where it is could they let the police know or give it back to us - that is all we are asking."

Senior Sergeant Graeme Fleming says the thieves probably used a small truck or ute to steal the 2.5-metre diameter trampoline.

"I would imagine that it is probably someone who wants one. So I would imagine it would be reasonably local."

It is possible the thieves tried to sell the trampoline to a secondhand store, he says.

Anyone with information can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or the Otahuhu police station on 259 1200 quoting reference number 121129337.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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