Blood on window nabs brazen charity thief
A thief who stole from a charity’s office twice was tracked down using blood he left on a smashed window.
A man is due to appear in Hamilton District Court on February 17.
The thefts took place in May and June last year. The man plead guilty to burglary, Auckland City police detective Ewen Settle says.
The target was the office of the Auckland Festival of Photography in Parnell. Laptops worth more than $8000 were stolen in one of the incidents.
Staff arrived on the Monday morning after the first burglary in May to find a window almost three metres above ground level was broken.
Festival founder Julia Durkin says after the first burglary the office was targeted again – the theft happened midway through the annual photography festival. Large and expensive Apple computers, video cameras, tapes and laptops that were on loan to organisers were among the items taken, she says.
Blood left on a window allowed police to use DNA evidence to track and identify the offender.
Seeing someone held responsible is a relief, Durkin says.
Monthly insurance payments to cover the festival’s equipment have gone up by about $1000 and the costs are difficult to keep up with, she says.
The office is now alarmed every day and the windows have extra security on them.
Organisers are preparing for this year’s festival which starts on May 28.
‘‘Last year was a fantastic festival but it was just slightly tainted by these two burglaries,’’ Durkin says.
The festival, now into its 11th year, will have more than 90 exhibitions and events on its programme for Aucklanders to enjoy.
Starting over: Auckland Festival of Photography founder Julia Durkin in the charity’s office which was burgled twice last year. The empty boxes represent more than $8000 of equipment that was taken.