SPCA theft 'lowest of the low'

By Glenn Taylor

Staff at Central Hawke's Bay SPCA are dismayed and, "totally gutted" after thieves broke into their office and stole two laptops, a gas bottle and a landline telephone.

"Our first concern was for the animals; are [the burglars] going to come back?," SPCA manager Renee Hickey said. "This is meant to be a safe place, it's the community's SPCA. Whoever did this is stealing from their own community."

It is believed the lock on a sliding office door was jimmied some time after 5pm on Thursday and before 7.30am yesterday.

Only items in plain sight were taken, while money and other valuable items were left behind.

"Both of the laptops are mine - one of them has prosecution information on it and the other has personal information, including photos of my mother who has now left this world," Ms Hickey said.

"I am just totally gutted that anyone would steal from a charity to be honest, it's the lowest of the low."

While none of the animals were touched or stolen, there had been recent incidents where a pound on the same property was broken into and people had removed their dogs.

"They had a good look around the place, gates were left open and one of the dogs escaped. But the only place they could get into was the office."

After what had been a gross breach of security and privacy, it was likely security cameras would be installed at the cost of the SPCA.

"We will need to have the locks replaced as well - that's money that should be going to the animals."

Both laptops were black and silver Compaqs and Ms Hickey was desperate for their return.

"They can even just drop them at the gate, or just put the photos on a CD and drop that at the gate, those are irreplaceable memories."

Police also asked people to come forward with any information they may have about the burglary.

CHB community constable Glyn Sharp said: "The odd thing is that there was a small amount of cash and they didn't touch that, which makes me think it could have been done out of spite."

Contact the Waipukurau Police Station on (06) 8589140

- Hawkes Bay Today

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