Staff at a Napier childcare centre arrived at work yesterday morning to discover thieves had stolen about a dozen sports balls used by the centre's six-year-old students.
It was not the first time it had occurred, and YMCA Childcare Centre head teacher Sarah Dodd has now issued a plea for those responsible to stop as it was unfair on the centre's pupils.
"I'm just really gutted someone could do that," she said. "We are a community-based centre. The money comes out of our pocket for our resources. If anyone knows who is doing it, if they could ask them to stop, because it's not really fair to the children."
The soccer balls and basketballs stolen were kept in unlocked wooden boxes near the centre' sandpit, but the culprits would have needed to rummage through them to discover their contents.
"When we leave at night we put everything away so you can't see it. The wooden boxes have got lids on them so they're closed and the gates are closed. You can't really see anything that's left out from the road. They would have had to come in and open those boxes," she said. "Because we are in a low socio-economic area the children we do have coming here may miss out on some of the experiences that we can provide them and without the resources they certainly will miss out.
"I've just spent $96 today just getting 10 new balls and I don't really want to have to go and replace them again.
"The police have been here but they said because it's not locked there is really not much they can do about it."