An Illawarra surf club has been by hit by vandalism and theft as its volunteers prepare for one of their busiest days of the year.
Alarms at the Thirroul Surf Life Saving Club sounded at 2.22am on Wednesday as a thief, or thieves, ransacked the property.
Club representatives including Lachlan Pritchard arrived to investigate eight minutes later.
They found the first aid supplies disturbed, broken CCTV and computer equipment littering the floor and a badly damaged door leading to the office.
As well, $900 in cash was missing, and a defibrillator worth about $2000.
“They’ve basically pilfered through our first aid equipment, taken our defibrillator and smashed the internal door into the office and destroyed the CCTV cameras and hard drive,” Mr Pritchard said.
“We came down here at about 2.30am and noted that the inside of this patrol room here the lights were still on and you could see through and see that it had been ransacked.
“Our main priority for the moment is getting operational for tomorrow, being Australia Day and potentially a busy day. We just want to be all set and ready to go.”
The stolen money had been raised by nippers through their Sunday morning barbecues.
Club representatives intended to immediately replace the defibrillator, in the hope it will be covered by insurance.
“They’re a vital, life saving piece of equipment,” Mr Pritchard said.
“It’s up there with our rescue IRBs because we really couldn’t operate without it.
“I guess it’s an easy thing to grab and get away with.”
Police attended the club in the early hours of Wednesday morning and are investigating.
Contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 to assist with the police investigation.