Anger at trailer theft

KELLY DENNETT
Last updated 05:00 05/02/2014
Trailer Theft

DEVASTATED: From left, Natalie Wilson, John Harrison, Cecily Mantell and Richard Hetaraka from Te Ukaipo Trust say the theft of their trailer is a huge blow to the community.

Trailer Theft
STOLEN: A trailer similar to this was stolen from Te Ukaipo Trust between January 18 and 19.

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The theft of a trailer has left a Ranui trust devastated and a local board chairwoman fuming.

After starting basketball tournaments in schools last year Ranui-based Te Ukaipo Trust saw the benefit of having a mobile hoop in the community.

The trust has been operating in the community for more than a decade and manager Cecily Mantell says children were thrilled with the tournaments.

"They'd say, ‘We're glad you're here'.

"We're too scared to use the parks because there are people sitting in cars doing drugs and drinking alcohol.

"That's when we thought if we had a mobile basketball hoop we could go into streets where people are too scared to play," Ms Mantell says.

The trust spent a year holding hangis and sausage sizzles and applying for grants for a modified trailer and hoop worth $8500.

In November they finally began taking it into neighbourhoods and after two months Ms Mantell says they had been able to get more families through their offices.

Communities were coming together, children were learning new skills and adults were becoming aware of the services the trust offered.

So Ms Mantell was shocked when the trailer was stolen from their Swanson Rd offices on January 18 or 19.

Massey Henderson Local Board provided more than $5000 for the trailer and board chairwoman Vanessa Neeson is furious.

"They're stealing from the ratepayers. They're the ones who have supplied the money for this," she says.

"It's just not good enough. It's about time the community started getting angry about this sort of behaviour."

Waitakere police crime scene attendant Helen Kehoe says the trailer might not be far because it would have been hard to push.

"This is going to be sitting around somewhere because it's not easy to hide and the trailer was modified so it's not easy to dismantle."

Ms Mantell says that without insurance there will be a long road of fundraising before they can afford another trailer and she is imploring the thief to return it.

"We're going to have to go back to the drawing board because I don't see council wanting to give us a replacement.

"If you're reading this and would like to give it back to us we'd ask no questions," she says.

"You can drop it off."

WHO TO CALL Phone Henderson burglary squad on 839 0600 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 if you have information on the trailer. --------------------

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