HEARTLESS thieves are spoiling the holidays for many local residents, the latest being the theft of two unique farm gates at the Nicholls property near Tarlee.
“We still can’t quite believe someone stole the gates,” Annie Nicholls said.
“They actually weigh a lot and would have taken three to four people to carry, plus a large trailer.”
Annie said the gates went missing on the night of Wednesday, January 6 when the family was in the Barossa Valley for the SACA Country Cup junior cricket.
“Our employee, Tom Connell, rang us to say they were missing,” Annie said.
“From the tracks, we could tell the thieves came from the North and went back North.”
Annie notified the police and posted the theft on facebook, hoping someone might be able to identify them should they ‘pop up’ somewhere.
“We actually can’t believe the support shown on social media – the post has now been shared more than 3000 times which is quite unbelievable,” she said.
Annie said while the gates weren’t ‘sunshine gates’, they had great sentimental value to the family.
“They were very old and unique, and very special to us,” Annie said.
“I’ve lived here nearly all of my life, and Jake and I took over the family farm from my parents, Peter and Sue Dunn, about 14 years ago.
“The gates came from Jake’s, family farm called ‘Norminga’ in the Apoinga area near Black Springs, and the stone in the pillars holding the gates also came from his family farm.
“So the gates had history and something from both of our families.”
“The gates were not identical – it’s hard to match old gates so Jake did some welding work to align them, and attached them with heavy duty bolts,” she said.
Annie said the entrance to their property, along Horrocks Highway, had only been completed about two years ago.
“The gates are only shut about twice a year when we have sheep in the paddock, otherwise we leave them open at other times mainly for convenience, but also for decoration,” Annie said.
“It’s disappointing for our society.
“Although insurance will cover the loss it shows a real brazen mentality of the thieves and worries me for the future,” Annie said.