Despite a break-in which caused significant damage to the Dwellingup Trails and Visitors Centre, the Shire of Murray has said that with support from community, staff and police the centre was back up and running.
The Shire's director of place, community and economic development Leanne McGuirk told the Mail the team wanted to make sure everyone knew that the facility which has been a core part of the Murray community couldn't be held down for long.
"We want to remind people that while there was damage done - we are up and operational. It won't effect the visitor experience," Ms McGuirk said.
"Last weekend we had 3000 people through the visitor centre alone - we don't want to detract from people coming to visit us and life's back to normal."
Ms McGuirk said in the early hours of April 20, an alarm sounded at the centre and police were dispatched shortly thereafter.
A vehicle had been used to ram raid the front door of the centre, right through the main entrance.
On top of the damage, Ms McGuirk said a number of displays had been stolen including a mountain bike installed as part of an exhibit for the Dwellingup 100.
"Alcoa has a bike in the centre which is given away at the Dwellingup 100. That bike was ripped off its stand, that's gone. And some of the Dwellingup adventure trail merch was stolen with some miscellaneous stuff."
Despite what was a "disappointing" incident, Ms McGuirk said the support received from both the team at the Shire and centre and the community had been overwhelming.
"We're a really small local government - everyone is so invested in the trail centre, so is our community.
"It's their patch - they feel as much responsibility as we do. We are devastated someone has come into our building."
Over the last few years, the Shire has seen Murray become a top tourism destination, a proud feat for the community.
"We've had some huge wins over the past few years, we were named the top small tourism town...
"We're really fortunate we have a really resilient community and passionate team at the shire and visitor centre. And the police have been amazing."
Above all, Ms McGuirk said she wanted to thank the people who had sent their love during this time.
"I just want to say thank you to the amount of people who have reached out. We have been inundated with emails from everyone including people from the tourism sector in Perth and other agencies."
Sergeant Jody Worthington, officer in charge at Dwellingup police station, said investigations are ongoing in this case and police had strong evidence to look into.
"A thorough forensic examination of the scene was conducted and CCTV from the area has been collected and reviewed," Sgt Worthington said.
"Detectives are now investigating a number of strong leads."
Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or to make an online report via www.crimestopperswa.com.au/report.
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