THE theft of expensive chainsaws from the Northern State Emergency Service has almost halved its capacity to help people in need.
SES volunteers were helping a resident with tree damage in Dover Street, near Mowbray Racecourse, on Wednesday night.
Thieves stole two Stihl chainsaws from the SES rescue truck, an MS362 worth $1450, and an MS310 valued at $1100.
The theft happened at 10pm in the former Dover Village precinct.
Regional training officer Gerald Van Rongen said the Northern SES now had three chainsaws left.
``It hampered the later jobs,'' he said.
``It has decreased our capacity, until we can replace them.
``It was a true act of cowardice.''
SES assistant director George Cretu said he was very disappointed.
``For someone to help themselves to vital equipment in the middle of a callout, affects the ability of our organisation to undertake its vital community role during emergency incidents,'' he said.
Police are investigating the theft of the chainsaws, which were marked with identifying features.
Mr Cretu urged anyone with information about the theft to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Meanwhile, Aurora Energy crews were still trying to restore power yesterday to properties affected by Wednesday's wild weather.
An Aurora spokesman said he expected about 200 customers to have been without power last night.
Most are in the North-West, in areas including North Motton, West Gawler, Stoodley, Tarleton and Sunnyside.
``The reason they have been left off is mainly due to access issues, that includes wet paddocks, floodwaters and trees across roads,'' the spokesman said.