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Police are investigating whether damage to gates at the Otago Aero Club was a result of an attempt to steal fuel, or simply vandalism.
Club president Warwick Sims said it appeared someone had rammed a set of gates with a vehicle and attempted to pull another set of gates off hinges by tying a rope to them and hauling them with a vehicle. A security guard reported the damage to police about 3am on Monday.
Nothing had been reported stolen and nothing else at the club was damaged, but police were investigating, Mr Sims said.
''I don't know if it was someone looking for gates or hoping to drain an aeroplane for avgas,'' he said.
All aircraft were in secured hangars at the time and Mr Sims had no reason to believe there had been an attempt to steal a plane.
He believed it was the first time the club gates had been damaged.
Occasionally, rocks were thrown through hangar windows, but that had been the extent of vandalism until Monday, Mr Sims said.
''There was someone reportedly disturbed near a hangar on an earlier night, but I don't know whether that is related,'' he said.
Security guards patrolled the premises.
The club had organised for the gates to be fixed, which would cost a few hundred dollars, Mr Sims said.