Strike two: thieves return

Te Awamutu’s Menz Shed has lost thousands of dollars to thieves just days after lamenting a burglary which also saw expensive tools stolen.

“I think the whole shed is just gutted, absolutely gutted,” said Menz Shed chairperson, Steve Mannington.

After an unsuccessful attempt to jimmy open a window, thieves used a crowbar to break open a door to one of Menz Shed’s storage rooms on Sunday.

They took four electric drills, corresponding batteries, and a set of large bolt cutters – the power tools are labelled with Te Awamutu Menz Shed (TAMS).


Constable Collette Corley and CommSafe community safety officer Mandy Merson discuss Menz Shed’s next steps with chairperson Steve Mannington.

Menz Shed estimate the stolen tools are worth upwards of $2500.

Ōtorohanga Rural Support officer constable Collette Corley attended the scene on Monday.

“These guys do a lot for the community, for them to be targeted like this is extremely disappointing. I hope that the community feel outraged over this, because these are guys who get together and help the community in so many different ways,” Corley said.

CommSafe community safety officer Mandy Merson visited Menz Shed to help them plan their next steps.

Merson offered to speak to Menz Shed’s neighbours about the situation. She said that regardless of what surveillance equipment they use, the problem needs to be addressed by the community.

“We have to have a community approach to this… we need the local community to get on board to keep an eye on the property… at the end of the day, they are at threat too,” she said.

A shed was installed around Menz Shed’s outdoor workspace on Monday.

Menz Shed member Ian Stratford repaired the club’s damaged door on Monday, while other members helped to erect a shed around Menz Shed’s outdoor workspace.

Menz Shed member Ian Stratford fixed the club’s damaged door.

The club is in the process of installing various surveillance, alarm, and lighting equipment.

An exterior fence is likely to be installed too, which could hurt Menz Shed’s community spirit, said member Richard Cato.

Less than a fortnight prior to Sunday’s burglary, $3800 worth of tools were stolen from the community workshop, which The News described as Te Awamutu’s own Repair Shop. The earlier burglary results in the building’s windows being boarded up.

A wave of community support followed Menz Shed’s initial burglary. There were donations from Fresh Choice, Mitre 10 Mega, Tiger Building Waikato, and most recently a fundraiser held on Friday by Te Awamutu Primary School.

Because the stolen power tools are marked with Menz Shed’s details, Merson said anyone buying them would knowingly be purchasing stolen goods.

Menz Shed has provided The News with serial numbers that match the stolen drills. They are of AEG and DeWalt branding with serial numbers; 49582, 4701, 49575, and 14720.

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