Sporting clubs in the dark after thieves strike

John Connell Reserve in Leeming.
John Connell Reserve in Leeming.

LOCAL cricketers and soccer players have been left in the dark by the theft of 400m of copper cabling connected to floodlights at John Connell Reserve in Leeming.

Murdoch police Detective Sergeant Rob Martin said the cabling, worth about $30,000, was stolen late on January 2 or early January 3.

The oval is used by the Leeming Strikers Football Club and Leeming Spartan Cricket Club, whose practice regimes are being affected by the theft.

Pearman’s Electrical Services workers were at the oval on Monday to assess the damage. The City of Melville estimates it will take three weeks for repairs to be finalised.

Leeming Strikers Football Club president Mike Hutchison said the lack of working floodlights was affecting the club’s ability to train as a group and socialise.

“It impacts our recruitment and our revenue and means we can’t bring people together,” he said.

“The council is acting promptly but we are not sure how long it will take for it to be fixed.

“This is the week where we usually return for pre-season training but we are having to send some teams to Peter Ellis Park and other places. And it means we can’t get together at the clubrooms and socialise.”

Melville chief executive Marten Tieleman said any type of vandalism or theft from public venues was always frustrating and a cost to the community.

“In this case, there is not just a financial cost for fixing the light but also potentially a social cost as the floodlighting is there to allow the community to use the space after dark for various activities and without the lighting, those activities cannot necessarily go ahead,” he said.

Anyone with information about the crime should call police on 131 444.