Skateaway Deb Butner, pictured with her daughter Vivaca, inspect the old Ipswich Bowling Alley operations room where lengths of recently installed electrical copper wiring are thought to have been cut and stolen.
Skateaway Deb Butner, pictured with her daughter Vivaca, inspect the old Ipswich Bowling Alley operations room where lengths of recently installed electrical copper wiring are thought to have been cut and stolen. Claudia Baxter

Skate rink is raided

THE reopening of Bundamba Skateaway faces further disruption after thieves stole $10,000 worth of newly-installed electrical cable from the premises and adjoining bowling alley.

Late on Sunday, thieves broke into the derelict bowling alley, cutting live power cables before removing a substantial amount of copper wiring adjoining the two buildings.

The skate centre and bowling alley suffered considerable damage during January's floods, with the bowling centre closing permanently in August.

Power to the skate centre had only been restored two weeks ago, allowing a team of local tradesmen to begin work on the renovation.

Skateaway owner Deb Butner said the incident meant it would be at least two weeks before power could be restored to the site, further hampering plans to reopen by the Christmas school holidays.

"The owner of the buildings has spent $50,000 to $60,000 replacing all the electrical cable in the complex and we have spent $45,000 getting power restored to our business," she said.

"It's just another hit to our business and the skating community in Ipswich."

Ipswich Police District duty officer Senior Sargent Robbie Goodger said he hoped items left behind by the thieves, along with CCTV footag,would help identify the offenders.

"Copper cable is fairly expensive but we've been pretty fortunate in the past and a lot of the time we catch them," Snr Sgt Goodger said. "It looks like they've been disturbed and they've left some gear behind so hopefully we can identify the offenders through scientific analysis."

Ms Butner said she believed the thieves must have some electrical know-how to have pulled off the crime. "The sparkies said the cables removed are worth about $10,000 and the thieves would have had to know what they were doing to avoid killing themselves."



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