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Tent theft devastates owner

The stolen marquee. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Owner hoping for public assistance

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A former Masterton man is gutted about the theft of a $12,000 marquee in his home town but hopes the community will help get it returned.

Christchurch-based Happy Hire owner Shaun Rolston received a call on Monday from a Solway Showgrounds caretaker explaining what had happened.

The marquee had been left set-up on Sunday night after the Wellington Regional Dressage Championships, to be packed down on Monday morning, he said.

It appeared the brazen thieves cut the gate padlocks to access the showgrounds, letting sheep on to the road. They detached the 6m by 6m marquee from its pegs, and somehow placed it in their vehicle, with its 3m poles

What seemed strange to Rolston was that the pegs were still left in the ground, along with the furniture used during the event.

A marquee is not an easy item to steal, he says.

“They would have had to have a big truck or trailer to fit it in,” he said.

On Monday, Rolston rang around other hire businesses in the region to see if marquee theft was a common occurrence in the region. He was told it was not.

Happy Hire is a new growing business, and the theft has set them back financially, but will also impact its ability to regularly sponsor community events, he says.

The marquee was a distinctive design, with three church-style windows and five blank sides.

Rolston said no one else in the region would be stocking it.

He reported the theft to police, but was hoping the community would keep an eye out for it too.

He can be contacted on: 021 374 751

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