CALLOUS thieves stole toys and heavy-duty toy boxes from a day care centre in a calculated and heartless attack.
Staff and children arrived at the Sebastopol Childcare Centre yesterday to find thieves had broken into the heavy-duty storage boxes and stolen a number of sandpit toys from the property.
They had used bolt cutters to break the padlocks and even managed to steal the boxes that had been bolted into concrete on the ground.
In addition to the stolen items, the thieves even dug up strawberry plants that had been planted and cared for by the children.
Sadly for the not-for-profit childcare centre, it was not the first time they had been targeted.
Throughout the year it has had windows smashed and vandalism spray-painted on the building.
Childcare centre coordinator Leah Cunningham said the children were distraught to find the toys had been stolen.
“It was obviously planned and they had obviously come prepared,” she said.
“It’s stuff that is worthless to them.
“I don’t know why they would take advantage and steal from the kids.”
The boxes are valued at about $300 dollars each and the cost of the toys, including some new Tonka trucks, is also estimated at $300.
Angry parents also lashed out at the thieves, claiming it only made life harder for people who worked so hard to secure money for the centre.
Paul Rowse has a two-year-old daughter who attends the day care centre and said she would have been distraught if she had attended yesterday.
“What’s society coming to when people decide to steal from kids?” Mr Rowse said.
The boxes are described as all being different colours – grey, red and blue.
Any witnesses or anyone with information is asked to contact Ballarat Police on 5336 6000.