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St Pat’s theft

Tuesday, 22nd March, 2011

By Craig Brealey

A large sum of cash and cheques stolen from the St Patrick's race club had made things harder for the club, especially after Saturday's meeting was washed out, according to the vice president Andrew Schmidt .

The theft was committed a month ago and police said yesterday that they had taken statements from a number of witnesses and still had more to collect.

The money was stolen from the racing club's offices in Crystal Street on the afternoon of Sunday, February 20 but, according to police, it was some time before the theft came to anyone's notice.

Detective Inspector Mick Stoltenberg said that the first police knew about it was when someone reported finding a number of eftpos slips and other financial documentation from St Pat's in the street.

DI Stoltenberg said the racing club then had to check its financial records to determine what was missing.

A number of witnesses interviewed by police had told them that they had seen a woman enter the club's office, he said.

"At this point in time, it appears that the offence has been committed by a female and inquiries are continuing," he said. 

More witnesses were to be interviewed, he said, and police were also appealing for anyone else who might be able to help their investigation to contact them.

"Police have no doubt that there would be witnesses to this matter and are hopeful that the person or persons responsible will be identified," DI Stoltenberg said. 

"Considering the work that this organisation does for Broken Hill, this crime is very disappointing for local police and, in particular, the hard working committee," he said. 

St Pat's vice president, Andrew Schmidt, said yesterday that "thousands" of dollars had been stolen and that the theft, four weeks before the race meeting, had hurt the club.

"Running a race meeting is a year by year proposition. You rely on a successful meeting to get you through to the next one, and to have this happen is hugely disappointing to all the volunteers," Mr Schmidt said.

He said St Pat's was looking to offer reimbursement to the horse trainers who had come to the city for Saturday's races, and having thousands of dollars less in the kitty would make it harder to juggle the finances.

"We're holding a committee meeting on Thursday night to look at subsidies for the trainers who have supported us for so long.

"This will put an extra burden on the club but we feel we owe it to them.

"Now this has been compounded by someone knocking off the money." 

Mr Schmidt said that the money was stolen between 3pm and 6pm on the Sunday when the hall at the St Pat's building was being used by people not connected with the club.

He said that some of these people had told police that they had seen a woman enter the St Pat's office and had given them a description of her.

The description did not fit anyone known to the St Pat's club, Mr Schmidt said.

"She was not someone we are familiar with," he said. 

Anyone with any information is being urged to contact police on 8087 0299 or Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000. 

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