The Interlakes Community Hall is looking to spend hundreds of dollars on security cameras following multiple thefts of playground equipment in recent months.
“I really hate to do it, but I think it’s necessary,” said hall co-ordinator Maggie Benzing. “If we have good cameras, we will at least be able to see who’s doing it.”
Benzing said the trouble started in the summer when she noticed the small toy telescopes affixed to the playground had gone missing. Not long after, she noticed some of the fencing around the property had also been damaged.
Last week, she discovered the hooks that attach to the monkey bars – valued at $400 – had also been stolen.
Benzing filed a police report but was told that not much could be done unless they had surveillance camera footage.
“We’re not very hopeful that we’ll recover anything,” she said. “And it’s not worth it to make a claim with our insurance, because then the premium will go up.”
The playground at Interlakes Community Hall officially opened last October, and Benzing said it has been very popular for families in the area as well as visitors passing through.
“Even in the wintertime kids are out there playing, having a picnic with their families,” she said. “Especially with COVID, it has been really great to have.”
Benzing said the fact the playground was paid for completely by donations and fundraising efforts makes it that much more frustrating that someone would steal the equipment.
She said the cost of the surveillance cameras is expected to be up to $500, in addition to the cost of replacing the monkey bar hooks.
“I will buy new ones, but I won’t put them out until next summer, and by then we should be all set up,” Benzing said. “I really want to let people know that they will be on camera.”