VANDALS GO ON RAMPAGE
By CRAIG McTEAR
JAMIE Marschke shook his head in disgust yesterday in the aftermath of a night of mayhem at Park Beach.
The Coffs Harbour Surf Club captain was among the band of volunteers who had to clean up the mess left behind by vandals, who smashed 20 windows at the club overnight on Monday. The damage bill is expected to reach $10,000.
When he heard the news early yesterday, he admits he wasn't entirely surprised.
"I just accepted it. It's a part of society these days," Jamie said.
"You initially think disbelief, but it's the way some people act, unfortunately.
"We've been broken into before. Early last year, they got into the bar and stole some liquor."
On Monday night, the culprits, who had apparently been drinking beer outside, ripped up pavers from a nearby footpath and pelted the clubhouse, which left glass strewn throughout the building and embedded in carpets.
Chairs and tables were also gouged by the missiles.
"It takes people time to clean up this mess, whereas the offenders will probably get away with it," Jamie said.
"It's disappointing. We put so much work into patrolling beaches for people, and then this happens.
"A few of us are taking time off work to fix the place up because we've got a wedding here on Saturday night.
"It's a setback, all right. Costwise we'll be out of pocket, and our insurance premiums will probably go up."
Police had been called to the surf club following reports of youths causing a disturbance. But the group fled the area, and the caretaker discovered the damage at 6.30am yesterday.
Down the road at Park Beach Bowling Club, intruders smashed a side window with a rock and stole bottles of spirits from the bar. Police estimate the break-in happened at 2.20am yesterday.
The nearby Park Beach Mini-Mart was also broken into at 12.30am yesterday when offenders smashed a glass door and stole soft drinks, chocolates, chips and other items.
Residents in Vincent Street, Prince Street and Boultwood Street, also at Park Beach, were roused from their slumber when they had unwelcome visitors on their properties, while an unlocked Kia in Boultwood Street was broken into, and a small amount of money stolen.
Police inquiries into the incidents continue.
If you have information to help with the investigations, contact Coffs Harbour police on 6652 0299.