IN a low act - as volunteer firefighters finally get some reprieve following Gippsland's horrific bushfires - thieves have stolen a television and a generator from a CFA education trailer.
The trailer, which was parked at Sale Fire Station's vehicle and storage facility on Raymond St, had only been in town for a week after touring bushfire-affected communities to distribute critical fire safety information.
The offenders used bolt-cutters in two separate areas to gain access the brigade's locked parking lot, before breaking into the trailer, damaging its locks. They stole a new Honda generator and a 40-inch Akai LCD flat screen television.
CFA members noticed the missing items on Tuesday morning, when they went to retrieve the trailer to take to a community event.
The thefts would most likely have occurred sometime between 3pm Monday and 9am Tuesday.
CFA District 10 acting operation manager Shane Mynard said the theft was extremely disappointing, considering what the trailer was used for.
"The trailer is used as a one-stop shop to engage people about fire safety and local incident information," he said.
"In the last six months, we've utilised them in east Gippsland, and they've been utilised consistently, every day.
"It's anticipated they would've gone back to east Gippsland - we've got holidays coming up, the long weekend in March, Easter - so the CFA would've used those trailers for those events to notify the community."
Commander Mynard said it was particularly disappointing, following the hard work and devastation caused by the recent bushfires across Gippsland, to see people target the CFA.
"What we've been through the last six months from a CFA perspective and from Forest Fire Management Victoria is quite significant fires," he said.
"These members are here as volunteers, serving the community the best they can, and then you've got this sort of behaviour carrying on.
"The money that goes into those trailers comes from the community, so you're actually stealing from the community.
"It really makes you wonder what people are thinking."
Wellington Crime Investigation Unit Detective Sergeant Ian Marr said he believed more than one offender was involved, and that police would be scouring CCTV footage from the area.
"We'll investigate it the same way we do every crime," he said.
"We'll give it what resources we have available, and clearly, we want to solve the crime," he said.
Police urge people who saw anything suspicious around the general area of the Sale Fire Station or rear of the Sporting Legends carpark to phone 5142 2200. People who see the items for sale on local buy, swap and sell sites are also being urged to phone that number