Camping equipment stolen from Port Augusta Scout Hall

BREAK-IN: Trespassers allegedly broke into the Port Augusta Scout Hall and stole various camping items between Monday night, March 5 and Tuesday morning, March 6.
BREAK-IN: Trespassers allegedly broke into the Port Augusta Scout Hall and stole various camping items between Monday night, March 5 and Tuesday morning, March 6.

The Port Augusta Scouts will miss out on several camping opportunities and activities after important equipment was robbed from the Port Augusta Scout Hall.

A barbecue, rocket pumps, bottle rockets, a lamp, tent pegs and five tents were stolen from the hall on Trent Road between 6:30pm on Monday, March 5 and 10:30am on Tuesday, March 6.

Port Augusta Scout leader Mark Foster said that while insurance will cover the monetary value of the items in due course, the Scouts will be unable to run any camps until the equipment is replaced.

“While we don’t have it, we can’t run camps or undertake a number of activities without that equipment,” he said.

“The weather is becoming more appropriate for camping, particularly in that autumn period before the cold really sets in, so we’re coming into the peak camping period and we’re not going to be able to do any.”

Much of the equipment was purchased after tireless fundraising from Scout members, as well as numerous donations and grants.

Mr Foster said security upgrades have been an ongoing issue at the ageing hall.

“Our focus has been on delivering great programs for kids and getting equipment rather than spending it on infrastructure,” he said.

“In the past six years we’ve heavily fundraised and done lots and lots of work so that we’re able to take the kids away and do lots of activities.

“We have improved the lighting and padlocks around the hall, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough.”

But through the indignation, Mr Foster said the group has been overwhelmed by community support since the incident.

​”It’s disappointing that people targeted a youth group, but every cloud has a silver lining and we’d really like to recognise the amount of community support that we’ve received since the break-in occurred,” he said.

“Businesses have offered us equipment to replace some of the stuff that has gone missing, other charitable organisations have offered us cash donations to help us get back on our feet, and members of the public individually have offered to help us out.”

Mr Foster encouraged residents to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 if they have any information.