An iconic Bilpin cafe destroyed in the recent bushfire crisis has become the target of thieves, raising the ire of local police.
The Tutti Fruitti Cafe on Bells Line of Road was destroyed as the massive Gospers Mountain fire swept through the area on December 21.
But to rub salt into the wounds, a newly-purchased water pump to replace a previous one damaged in the bushfires has now been stolen from the cafe.
Commander of Hawkesbury Police Area Command (PAC), Superintendent Jim Stewart, labelled the crime a "disgrace" and said police had begun investigations to bring those responsible to justice.
"[It is] a disgraceful act against the most vulnerable in our community at this time," he said in a statement.
"[Police are] conducting a criminal investigation to arrest and place the offender or offenders before the court."
Hawkesbury MP Robyn Preston has also been angered by the theft, saying the crime was "reprehensible at a time when the town is pulling together to rebuild.
"I urge the community to remain vigilant and report any criminal activity to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000," she said in the statement.
"Despite what has happened, it is heartening to witness the overwhelming community spirit and resilience demonstrated by the people of Bilpin, particularly the resolve of the owners to keep soldiering on through such difficult circumstances."