Baf­fled as sta­bles go walk­a­bout

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By NI­COLA STEWART ni­cola.stewart@wrcn.co.nz

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.

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