The South Otago Museum in Balclutha has had exhibits stolen from bolted-down display cases.
Museum president and curator Roz McKechnie said the thieves had loosened bolts to gain access to both exhibits.
“The museum operates on trust in that people are free to wander around the exhibits for as long as they want without supervision. No doubt there have been other items stolen over the years but these have gone recently.’’
The perpetrators should remember that stealing from the museum was stealing from the community, as items were held at the museum for the enjoyment of everyone, she said.
“From now on people will be asked to hand in their bags to the volunteer on duty while they are looking around the museum.
‘‘We make no apology for having to do this. It is necessary to try to prevent thefts. We will also be installing cameras, which will take much-needed funds away from museum operations,” she said.
One of the stolen items is a whiskey flask (hip flask) made of glass, the top half of which is leather covered. It has peep holes in the lower part, a fitted metal cup and screw top. J AW is scratched on base of cup.
The others are two cardboard display boxes with plastic lids, each with labelled geological specimens.