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Paeroa MenzShed members Les Cullerne and Allan Hughes are welcoming donations of tools and equipment to get them back on their feet after a burglary. PHOTO: KELLEY TANTAU

Paeroa MenzShed without tools after theft

The thieves who broke into Paeroa’s community MenzShed likely didn’t know they carted away tools that needed repairing and a metal cutting saw that required a three-phase power outlet to be plugged into.
Despite this, the thieves spent more than half-an-hour giving the shed a “good clear out” – and now it’s the members who are left picking up the pieces.
Overnight on Saturday, July 8, at least three offenders broke into the MenzShed, situated at the back of the former Paeroa Racecourse.
Vice president Allan Hughes said a member arrived on site to find the padlock had been taken off the door. When he entered, he noticed the “empty spaces” atop the work tables.
Not only did the thieves steal several drop saws and cans of CRC, they also stole a one-tonne chain block, a three-phase metal cutting saw, and a myriad of tools, and they carted it all away in a trailer that had been donated by MenzShed life member Les Cullerne.
“It’s been a bit of a blow to us,” Les said. “We’re ready to start doing things for the community now, and this has set us back a little bit, but we’re going to keep on going just the same. We won’t let this stop us from doing what we want to do.”

The community MenzShed moved into its racecourse premises little more than a year ago, after searching for a space for six years.
Les, an engineer by trade, was a founding member of the Paeroa shed and donated equipment and tools left over from his working days.
Allan said even though the machinery was donated to the group, it was still a “major set back” having it stolen.
“They might as well have stolen it from the donors,” he said.
“And even the people who donated stuff will be disappointed to know that it’s not being used for the purpose it was donated for,” Les added. “That’s how I feel.”
The MenzShed did have cameras installed and Police attended to obtain the tape. A Police spokesperson told The Profile that Police had assigned the case to be investigated and inquiries into the burglary were ongoing.
Still, Les said the group had since “beefed up the security” at the site, and the men will mark all of their tools and equipment going forward.
They are welcoming donations of items to get them back on their feet and to a point where they can start community projects and initiatives.
“I was hopeful we only lost a few things, but it has been a good clear-out,” Allan said.
They also welcome other members – male and female – to join the growing group that now has a 25-strong membership. Email for details.