Primary kids outraged after thieves strike twice


A crime wave at Queenstown Primary has left kids and school staff feeling “violated”. 

Heartless thieves have targeted the Robins Road school for the second time in as many months – stealing about $2000 worth of plastic ground safety matting last Saturday. 

The latest theft follows the pinching of $900 worth of native plants over Easter, just after they were dug in by pupils, parents and supportive local businesses. 

School caretaker Stuart “Podge” Cochrane says the kids were angry when they learned their new plants had been swiped. 

“They were feeling that adults shouldn’t do that sort of thing to them – it’s their school, you don’t rob from a school. 

“They felt violated because we’re working towards becoming an eco-school.” 

The theft of the mats – used to prevent kids from slipping over on wet ground – adds insult to injury, Cochrane says. 

“It’s hard to understand why people do things like this. 

“When you steal from a school it’s the whole community that suffers, not just the school,” Cochrane says. 

“It just makes you wonder when the hell it’s going to stop.” 

Cochrane will alert police over the latest incident. Cops were unable to finger the plant thieves. 

Landscape architect Paddy Baxter, who designed the new school entrance for free, was gutted to find 100 of the native plants he sourced were swiped – so he and Price Landscaping owner Simon Price have paid for the 

“In a decile 10 school with very little Government funding, community support’s incredibly important,” dad-of-two Baxter says. 

“We wanted to show kids that you can fix things as well.” 

The big-hearted businessmen dropped off the new shrubs this week for re-planting. 

Nine-year-old Alfie Parvin, one of the kids who planted the first garden in April, says he’s happy that the patch will be re-filled. 

“We felt that all that work we did was just a waste but it’s good to have it fixed.”