WARRNAMBOOL police are keen to speak to two men caught on security camera footage after the theft of a replica rifle from the Warrnambool war memorial.
Warrnambool RSL branch president John Miles said the rifle was stolen at 1.15am Sunday.
“We have some really good security camera footage which we have passed on to officers at the Warrnambool police station,” he said.
Mr Miles said the rifle had been stolen five or six times in the past decade.
“It’s a bloody pain in the neck. It’s desecration of what should be a very special place for all Australians,” he said.
“It’s hard to describe what I think of people who interfere with the rifle. The memorial was built to commemorate the ultimate sacrifice made by servicemen and women so these idiots can walk around free. It just shows a complete lack of respect.”
Mr Miles said the estimated cost of a replacement rifle was $3000.
He said fortunately the rifle was later found at nearby History House in Gilles Street.
“The rifle was found on a bench seat under the verandah at History House surrounded by a heap of cans. Police crime scene officers have examined the rifle and collected evidence,” he said.
Constable Joshua Goonan asked anyone with information about the two men to contact the Warrnambool police station or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
“Since the last theft the RSL has put in new security cameras. We have some very clear footage of the people who we believe will be able to assist us with our inquiries,” he said.