CANOBOLAS Police are investigating after brazen thieves used a four-wheel drive to break into a shipping container at one of Orange’s most popular camping spots.
Ophir Reserve Trust secretary Denis Marsh estimated about $3000-worth of equipment was stolen from the container, located at the Cubs Ophir campground on Lower Lewis Ponds Road.
Among the items stolen early on Monday morning were a firefighting pump, two brush cutters, a first aid kit and a large fire extinguisher.
“It’s pretty disappointing when the board members volunteer their time to look after the reserve for the enjoyment of visitors,” Mr Marsh said.
Mr Marsh said there was also damage to the door because the culprits had used the power of a four-wheel drive to wrench the door open.
“We know it was about 2am because campers heard the banging through the night – one of the campers knew we put the shipping container with the equipment on the hill and they investigated in the morning and found it had been broken into,” he said.
While the damage and equipment will be covered by insurance, Mr Marsh said volunteers’ time in resolving the matter would be lost.
He said the trust was “constantly” discovering vandalism.
“In the early hours of Sunday morning, we had another group visit the reserve at about 2am and decided to use the female amenities basin as a toilet,” he said.
“That was pretty unpleasant for the people who were camped there.”
Acting Inspector Yonneka Hill said police had been to the scene and were investigating.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Orange Police Station on 6363 6399.