Baffled as stables go walkabout
Police have been dealing with a string of burglaries in town in the past two weeks, including the bizarre theft of an entire stables.
The owner of the stables is baffled at how someone managed to remove four stable blocks – including the lining and steel framework – from his shed on Mangawhero Rd.
Sergeant Graham McGurk said the burglars left the shed nothing but a shell and would have needed welding equipment to remove the stables and a truck to transport them.
The stables were taken between October 18 and 24 and tools were also stolen.
Mr McGurk said it would most likely have been done in the daytime and asked anyone who saw anything to contact police.
Matamata Intermediate, Te Poi School and Hinuera School were also broken into, with a small amount of money taken from the latter two.
Hinuera principal Dean McDonnell said it was frustrating for schools, who had to waste money repairing damage from the break-ins.
‘‘We were lucky because we only had a small amount of money here at the time – we try to have as little cash as possible,’’ he said.
Two offenders also broke into J Swap Contractors on Rawhiti Ave last weekend and stole alcohol and phones from the offices.
They then returned overnight last Monday. After reviewing CCTV footage, police arrested two teenage boys aged 15 and 17.
The 15-year-old was referred to youth aid and the 17-year-old was charged with burglary.
A 16-year-old boy, who had some of the stolen property in his car, was later spoken to by police in regards to tagging around the town. He was also referred to youth aid. On Monday night, a car was broken into on Peria Rd and $100 cash was stolen, and a car parked in a garage on Western St was also rummaged through.
A person also entered a house in Parkside Villas and stole a TV, a laptop and two phones, before stealing a car from the garage and taking off.
The car was found by Putaruru police at a house in Putaruru while they were there on an unrelated matter. As a result, an 18-year-old Putaruru man was arrested for the burglary of the Parkside house and the unlawful taking of a car.
Mr McGurk said they were now looking into whether he was involved in other burglaries in the area. ‘‘We strongly believe they were related.’’ Properties on Elizabeth St and Rangiora Ave were also entered overnight on Wednesday and cash-and-carry items were taken.
Mr McGurk said most of the properties entered were insecure. He strongly urges residents to lock all doors and windows, including their cars.
‘‘ I truly believe the offenders are prowling around, looking for the insecure properties,’’ he said.
Most of the offending seemed to centre on the Peria Rd area, he said.