Theft of town's noticeboard a painful sign of the times

LUCY TOWNEND
Last updated 12:04 25/10/2012
Sarah Rolston
WARWICK SMITH/Fairfax NZ

MISSING MESSAGE: Halcombe resident Sarah Rolston shows the town’s welcome sign, part of which is missing.

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Residents of a Manawatu town are angry after part of its welcome sign was stolen.

The Halcombe Community Development Group is applying for community grants to replace the noticeboard section of the town's welcome sign.

The pinched part of the sign hung under the main body of the Halcombe sign and was worth more than $3500.

It was donated by Rangitikei Aggregates and informed the township of events happening in the area, such as family fun days, club sports finals and general community happenings.

Halcombe resident Sarah Rolston said the theft left the community "devastated".

"It floored everybody. A lot of community effort went into it and everybody was so depressed when it was taken."

Replacing the sign was taking longer than expected, she said. "Vandalism like this hits communities hard."

The 2.4-metre by 1.9m sign, which had steel backing, metal framing, a lockable perspex front and changeable billboard lettering, was on show less than two weeks before it was stolen

It was taken from its Halcombe Rd location, with thieves leaving behind destroyed mounting brackets.

Halcombe Community Development Group chairman Richard Bain said he could not understand why someone would steal the sign.

"The value of that would have been zilch, so it's a bit pathetic, really, but there are people around who do that sort of stuff for whatever reason."

He said the community group was rallying for funds to have it replaced by late summer. "We're going through the process of finding some funds and getting quotes to get a new one made locally."

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- Manawatu Standard

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