THIEVES have stolen a talking penguin bin from the Bourne Outdoor Pool.
The bin, worth about £450, was taken from the pool on the Abbey Lawn on Friday night.
The bin was discovered missing by lifeguards early on Saturday morning.
The theft is another blow to staff and volunteers at pool, which has had to reduce its opening hours because of the unseasonably wet summer affecting the number of people coming through the gates.
The pool is a registered charity and relies on donations and fundraising to stay open,
The bins around the pool, including the stolen penguin were bought with money donated by the Rotary Club of Bourne.
Chairman of the Bourne Outdoor Pool Preservation Trust Mandy Delaine-Smith said: “It is just unbelievable, I think it is sick. We are all in absolute shock that someone would do something like this.”
The talking bins, which say things like “That’s the best meal I’ve had all day” and “Feed me more” are popular with the young users of the pool because of their novelty factor.
Mrs Delaine-Smith said the bins are so popular that the pool has very few problems with littering because its young users enjoy disposing of their waste.
Mrs Delaine-Smith believes it would have required a number of “strong” people to move the heavy 4ft bin over the barbwire fencing which surrounds the wall of the pool.
Mrs Delaine-Smith said: “It is very heavy, when we move them we have to use a set of wheels to move them, they are that heavy.”
To be cautious staff at the pool are now locking the remaining penguin bin down at night.
Mrs Delaine-Smith said: “We just want to get the word out what has happened because not everyone knows about the pool and has seen the bins.
“It could just be sat in a garden somewhere.”
“We have told people to be on the look out when they are out and about in Bourne.”
Police are appealing for anyone with information, or who has seen the black and white penguin bin with a blue base, to contact them on 101 quoting incident 134 of Saturday.