Eaton Australind Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service personnel were left reeling after thieves broke in and removed items from its Hamilton Road premises.
On Tuesday morning, the culprits broke into the station’s shed and removed LED lights, number plates, child-size home-made fire tunics and small breathing apparatus sets from Freddy the Fire Engine.
Thieves also took emergency LED lights, fire radios, and a new 60 litre Engle fridge from the station’s people mover/incident control vehicle.
According to brigade members, CCTV footage showed one man breaking into the shed, removing the items from the vehicles, and placing the items on the shed’s floor at 5.20am before leaving the premises.
The footage also showed the culprits unloading the equipment into a champagne/gold coloured VT/VY Commodore sedan at 7.30am.
Eaton Australind Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service Captain Richard Constantine said a member of the brigade saw the vehicle in the car park at the time of the incident.
The culprits drove off just before the firefighter could turn around and return to the scene.
Built and funded by brigade members, Freddy the Fire Engine was used to promote fire safety in nearby schools.
The incident has made Freddy immobile.
Mr Constantine said both vehicles were key to the station’s efforts in the community.
“It’s hurtful to the community for a start – these schools now miss out on Freddy,” he said.
“As for the rodeo, it’s a vehicle we use as an incident command vehicle and it also ferries personnel out of the district if we need to send people away.
“We also use it within the district if we need to change crews over to do a night shift or switch out tired/run-down crew members.”
Mr Constantine expressed his disappointment in the people responsible.
“They are targeting their own community services and volunteers, it’s not on and it’s absolutely ridiculous,” he said.
The brigade has handed over all CCTV footage to South West Police, with the investigation still ongoing.
Anyone with information has been urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppers.com.au