Staff and students from Mambourin Disability Services have been left devastated by the theft of some brand-new gardening tools.

The tools were stolen around 11.20am yesterday, when VCAL trainees from the organisation visited the Sanctuary Lakes Shopping Centre.

The Mambourin-branded bus, which had a trailer full of tools attached to it, was parked in the shopping centre’s car park.

Mambourin horticulture supervisor, Rhys Davies, said that a commercial lawn mower, blower, whipper snipper and fuel cans – with an estimated value of around $1000 – were stolen from the trailer.

Mr Davies said the VCAL trainees discovered the theft when they returned to the vehicle.

“It’s just so disheartening for the team, the kids work hard,” Mr Davies said.

“To have this happen, it just doesn’t seem fair”.

Mambourin Disability Services offers VCAL students with a disability a chance to complete traineeships in horticulture or warehousing.

Yesterday’s trainees were on their way to update turf at the Sanctuary Lakes Golf Course when their tools were stolen, meaning they could not complete the job.

A supported employee from Mambourin, Robbie, said he “couldn’t believe” the tools were stolen.

“We stopped to get our lunch and when we got back it was all gone,” he said.

“I hope they return our gear so we can get back to work.”

Police are investigating the theft. Anyone with information can contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.