Graham Cridland had more than Â£3,000 of fishing equipment stolen, much of which was destined for an angling scheme which helps disadvantaged people, however when he reported the theft police declined to attend.
Readers on the County Times and Crawley Observer Facebook pages had the following to say.
Kevin Todman said: "Police are under too much pressure. It's awful and disgusting."
He demanded a greater number of police officers, calling the thieves 'scum bags'.
Helen Miles said :"How sad, we know the police are busy and under pressure but surely they could have sent a PCSO!"
However Missy GT took a sympathetic stance towards the police.
She added: "Although it’s upsetting to have items stolen, what good would the police have done if they had the capacity to attend every theft/burglary?
"I am very sorry for these people as it must be so upsetting to have all that equipment stolen.
"One can only hope the[y] had insurance."
Colin Edwards said: "Policing by numbers, they are not interested due to cost.
"No real policing anymore."
The backlash follows a report by the Home Affairs Committee which said forces in England and Wales were 'struggling to cope' amid falling staff numbers and rising crime.
The report warned of 'dire consequences' for public safety unless they received a funding boost.