Auck­land thief’s thirst for liquor

Auckland City Harbour News - - FRONT PAGE - CA­TRIN OWEN

A home in­vader is be­lieved to be re­peat­edly break­ing into homes and fright­en­ing res­i­dents in Grey Lynn.

Ilaria San­dri re­turned to her house on Com­mer­cial Rd on the morn­ing of Jan­uary 16 to find a stranger in her kitchen.

She had re­turned from work to pick up some­thing she had for­got­ten.

‘‘I asked who he was and what he was do­ing here, as five peo­ple live here, so it isn’t un­com­mon to have strangers in the house.’’

He said he was look­ing for a man named James and that point San­dri re­alised some­thing was wrong.

San­dri was ‘‘ab­so­lutely ter­ri­fied’’ but adren­a­line kicked in.

She asked the man to pass over a back­pack he was car­ry­ing, and fol­lowed him down the street ask­ing him to empty his pock­ets and then re­turned home to call the po­lice.

Only a bot­tle of whisky be­long­ing to the flat was found miss­ing.

There was a prompt re­sponse by po­lice who ar­rived shortly af­ter and de­ployed the Ea­gle heli- copter over Grey Lynn search­ing for the man.

Sergeant Ju­nior Fiu from Avon­dale po­lice said po­lice re­ceived a re­port of a stranger in­side San­dri’s prop­erty and was aware of sim­i­lar re­ports of a man knock­ing on the doors of other Grey Lynn prop­er­ties.

‘‘A large num­ber of of­fi­cers flooded the area, as well as the Ea­gle He­li­copter, but un­for­tu­nately the man was not lo­cated,’’ he said.

‘‘Our front-line staff are aware of these re­ports and we ask that any­one who ex­pe­ri­ences a sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tion and feels un­easy, or that some­thing isn’t right or seems sus­pi­cious, to call po­lice im­me­di­ately.’’

San­dri has felt un­safe in her home since the in­ci­dent. She de­scribed him as a Cau­casian man in his late 50s with light eyes and hair, car­ry­ing a back­pack.

A sim­i­lar in­ci­dent hap­pened to Jes­sica Brash, who lives on Hep­burn St in Pon­sonby, when her flat was en­tered by a man of a sim­i­lar de­scrip­tion in De­cem­ber.

‘‘It is rather wor­ry­ing how con­fi­dent he is to sim­ply just en­ter our house and search around the bed­rooms while we are home.’’

The in­truder en­tered claim­ing to be look­ing for some­one called Ja­son and a bot­tle of whisky went miss­ing. The po­lice are mak­ing en­quiries to iden­tify and lo­cate the man.

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