The thick steal door of the cream-coloured safe was left buckled and bent after thieves smashed their way in and stole cash from the Dargaville Bowls Club.

Thousands of dollars worth of damage was also done to the community sporting clubrooms during a string of burglaries in Dargaville overnight on Friday and early Saturday.

Police visited 30 businesses yesterday checking security systems and giving crime prevention advice as they continued to investigate the latest break-ins, that come just weeks after a similar series of burglaries on June 29-30.

The door to the safe was left buckled after thieves broke in and stole cash.
The door to the safe was left buckled after thieves broke in and stole cash.

Norm Vranjes, the bar manager, has worked at the bowls club for 20 years and when he arrived on Saturday morning to ready the club for a tournament, his heart sank when he saw the devastation caused by thieves.


"I can't repeat what I said when I saw the mess," the 81-year-old said.

"It makes you bloody wild though."

Shattered glass, holes in the walls, a grill ripped from the bar and the security system smashed were all part of the destruction. With the cash stolen from the safe and the damage to the rooms it amounted to thousands of dollars. Club members cleaned up the mess but had to cancel a tournament on Saturday which saw the club lose out on bar sales. Repairs to the walls are still to be done.

"It's like a kick in the guts, something like this," Mr Vranjes said.

The break-in was one of six in Dargaville which saw cash taken and a computer smashed. The others were at Kauri Coast Laundrette, B Arch Wear, McKay Industries, Fish Factory Youth Centre and the Greenways Trust. Three police officers yesterday visited 30 local businesses giving specific security advice.

Dargaville police Senior Sergeant Rob Huys said business owners were advised about crime prevention measures and recommendations were made for additional CCTV in some shops.

He appealed to anyone who may have information about the robberies to contact police as soon as possible.

Truck, tanker, courier drivers and those working during the night or early hours of morning were also asked to keep an eye out for suspicious behaviour and report it to police immediately.

"We need to be advised of any suspicious behaviour and we will assess what action is taken," Mr Huys said.

- Information can be given to Dargaville police on 09 4393400 or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.