Arrest in hospice shop burglary
Waipukurau police have made an arrest and a man has appeared in the Hastings District Court after donations were taken from the Cranford Hospice Charity Shop in Waipukurau over a period of three months.
Danny Victor Morrison, 47, was charged with 11 counts of burglary and was bailed to a Hastings address, to appear in the Waipukurau District Court on January 21.
Police made the arrest after installing a covert camera at the back of the charity shop, which sells donated goods to raise money for Cranford Hospice.
Police say the thefts had been occurring most weekends since September but had escalated until they were happening nearly every night.
The camera photographed a suspect at about 4am on eight separate occasions. While his face was obscured by a hoodie, initial pictures showed distinctive hand tattoos. A breakthrough occurred after the camera was shifted and captured a clear view of the suspect’s face.
Volunteers in the charity shop were further alerted when a man came in asking to buy speakers for a stereo which had been stolen from the shop the previous night.
CCTV cameras in Waipukurau had also picked up sightings of a suspect carrying bags out of Ruataniwha Street’s south service lane and picked up his direction of travel.
Police tracked the suspect to an address which they found crammed with goods that the shop’s volunteers identified as the stolen items.
The suspect was arrested and appeared in Hastings District Court last week.
Police say they when they executed the warrant they also apprehended a “top five” violent Hastings offender.
Later in the week they were back at Waipukurau’s Cranford Hospice Charity Shop to help volunteers to beef up the security measures in the donation and storage area.
The shop’s manager Lisa Watson says the arrest of a suspect was a good result.
“We worked closely with Police and we had a lot of support from the community. The sad part is, if anyone is that desperate for help with clothes or household items, just speak to us and we can help, or get you help.”
Each year Cranford Hospice has to raise $2.8 million from the community to provide free, specialist, palliative care to dying people and support for their families in Hawke’s Bay.
Constables Andy Walker and Shane Brooks helping out at Waipukurau’s Cranford Hospice Charity Shop, increasing the security in the donations and storage areas.