Firebug attack shocks Salvos

Major Tim Gittins can’t understand why anyone would want to torch a ride-on mower. Picture: Max Mason-HubersTHE senseless burning of a ride-on mower has left a Lake Macquarie Salvation Army branch in distress.
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The mower was inside a shipping container at a Bonnells Bay property, where the Christian organisation has a church, office and community centre. Thieves broke into the container and stole a chainsaw, line trimmer and blower, Salvation Army Major Tim Gittins said. They pushed the mower out of the container and torched it.

“I don’t agree with it and I don’t like it, but I can understand people stealing stuff,” Major Gittins said. “But senselessly burning something doesn’t make sense to me.”

A British study found that arsonists “have been consistently found to have low or borderline IQs”.

“This is significant as those with low IQs often have difficulty in understanding their problems and generating solutions,” the study said. Arson could be preceded by feelings of anger, rejection and boredom, while arsonists often had low self-esteem and history of being bullied.

Pyromaniacs, those who deliberately set more than one fire, had a fascination and attraction to fire, that could elicit “sexual excitement”, pleasure and gratification.

Mr Gittins said the stolen equipment and mower had been used to maintain the Bonnells Bay property to “make sure it’s a safe place for people to come”. The site is used to provide help to people in crisis.

Mr Gittins said the organisation was “disappointed and upset that this has happened”.

“It caused us emotional and financial distress and we’re now without our ride-on mower until we can get it replaced,” he said.

“If anyone saw anything suspicious in the area, we’d like them to let us know [4973 1735] or report it to police.”

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