Thieves have twice stolen the hammocks swinging at Tamahere’s new playground and also hit a nearby private property.
Since it opened in June, four hammocks have been stolen from Tamahere Park – two in mid July and two on the weekend of September 7-8.
Musical mallets for the playground’s xylophone were stolen in the July theft and three panels around the skate park were poached in the latest incident.
A hammock swing in a nearby property has also been reported stolen.
Owner Eileen Sumich is in the process of moving to Tamahere but put up swings on their central Tamahere section for her grandchildren who live nearby.
“Someone has come in and cut down and stolen one of them,” she said. “Please warn people there is a thief in the area.”
Waikato District Council community connections manager Megan May told the Waikato Times she had no idea why thieves were targeting the playground.
“I presume they are using the hammocks for their own personal use but I can’t say for sure.”
People cut through metal hinges to get the hammocks in the latest theft, May said.
Each hammock costs $2000 of ratepayer money, May said, which included the heavy protected rope, timber for the ends, stainless steel bolts and fittings.
They were designed to last 10-15 years.
Replacing all stolen items costs about $9,250.
The council had not decided whether the hammocks would be replaced or with what.
Installing security cameras would need to go through a cost-benefit analysis, she said.
“This is the first I’ve heard of thieves targeting a playground in our district.
“It’s really disappointing for the community and the council staff who spent several years planning for and providing this asset.
“We ask the community to keep their eyes and ears open and alert the police if they know anything,” May said.
The total cost of Tamahere playground was $850,000, a combination of Long Term Plan funding and a targeted rate from the community, she said.