Rugby reels from double break-in
By RODNEY STEVENS
THE Pacific Hotel Yamba Buccaneers Rugby Club is shattered following the second attack on its clubhouse in as many days.
The offenders who entered the clubhouse on Monday and Tuesday nights in two different locations, stole a DVD player, lollies, chocolates and smashed glass fridge doors, taking soft drinks and alcohol.
The damage to the premises on the corner of River and Coldstream streets, Yamba, will put a significant dent in the club's funds, which were earmarked for community assistance initiatives.
Club president Daryl Rock said that as a result of the damage caused by the break-ins, the club would have to put on hold some of its development programs for youth and community assistance.
"We will have to use the funds allocated to these programs to repair the damage," he said.
"The costs associated to repair the last two incidents at the Buccaneers' clubhouse undoes the hard work done by our volunteers in the past 18 months."
Mr Rock said the club had planned to put something back into the community that had supported it so well over the past couple of years by making some scholarships available to youth next year.
"It is very disappointing from a club point of view considering our success in recent times and the current growth in player numbers and support from the district," he said.
Mr Rock said that as far as he was concerned, break and enter was beyond vandalism and the type of crime that was an ongoing issue for sporting clubs in the Clarence Valley.
"This type of crime is a continual blow to all voluntary sporting associations," he said.
Buccaneers first grade coach Andrew Bennett said it was not an isolated incident, with three of the four main sporting bodies on the Lower Clarence falling victim to similar incidents in recent weeks.
"It is not only the damage and loss of stock that affects the club, we will have to spend a significant amount of money upgrading the security of the clubhouse, which in turn, will impact on the money the club can provide to the community," he said.
Buccaneers Treasurer and club founder Doug Anderson said it had gone to a lot of trouble to address security at the clubhouse and members were wondering how much further they had to go to protect the premises.
Chief Inspector Darren Spooner of Grafton police said they had four suspects to the crime and the clubhouse was being finger printed yesterday afternoon.
"Yamba police will be meeting with the club this afternoon regarding the break-in," he said.
"It might be advisable to the perpetrators that they visit the Yamba police station as we know who they are."