Bunny snatch has police on the case
Police are warning rabbit breeders to beware after a spate of rabbit hutch raids.
Police are hunting a cagey thief who has hopped away with a herd of bunnies from Auckland backyards.
A spate of thefts over the past month has seen at least 15 rabbits stolen, police said.
The thieves were allegedly committing dawn raids on hutches run by rabbit breeders in Mt Albert, Blockhouse Bay and Massey.
The bunnies, including the Netherland Dwarf breed, Mini Lops and a Mini Rex, were worth about $50 each.
Police said they were reviewing CCTV of one of the brazen thefts from 5am last Saturday.
The owner of the property, who asked not to be identified, had 10 rabbits including babies and mothers stolen on four separate occasions from her property.
She said in a statement she was worried for her babies.
"We love our rabbits to bits," she said.
"We may be breeders but that doesn’t mean these rabbits aren’t part of our families – my rabbits all have names; they’re all loved."
The woman had set up CCTV cameras, padlocked her hutches and taken other prevention measures to stop the offenders.
She said one mother Mini Rex, who was stolen, left behind a current litter and five three-week-old babies were also stolen without their mother.
"I’m really worried for them as the babies are so young and don’t have a mother now," she said.
"Whoever has taken them, please, bring them home."
Constable Logan Delamere of Avondale Police said they were following lines of enquiry to get to the bottom of who’s stealing the bunnies.
He warned that breeders should be on the alert for suspicious behaviour. "We’re looking to identify and locate this person but in the meantime, rabbit breeders can take preventative steps to ensure their animals’ security," Delamere said. "Think about padlocking hutches, using CCTV cameras and sensor lights if you can."
If anyone has information about the person identified in the CCTV footage or knows about the rabbit thefts, please contact Avondale Police on 09 820 5623 email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information can be provided anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Police have released an image of the missing bunnies and CCTV footage from the raids.