Bunny snatch has po­lice on the case

Po­lice are warn­ing rab­bit breed­ers to be­ware af­ter a spate of rab­bit hutch raids.

Central Leader - - MILESTONES -

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 ldbn11@po­lice.govt.nz.

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.

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