Thieves strike elderly again

By Patrick O'Sullivan

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Swansea retirement village residents are "absolutely angry" thefts are continuing, despite having received community support.

Moewaka Shepherd (Nanny Moewaka) spoke out last week after car thefts, saying residents in the council-owned village with 64 flats were "sitting ducks" to vandalism and theft after four cars were broken into.

But "young thugs" struck again on Friday night. The former schoolteacher said her neighbour had a stereo stolen from an enclosed porch and storage sheds were broken into.

She had criticised police for inaction and said they had responded by saying their investigation had met with a "deathly silence".

But following the story in last week's Hawke's Bay Today information had flowed and the culprits from Friday were identified and spoken to by police, she said.

"But we are still being targeted and we need people to continue their support.

"Some of us are very vulnerable and scared of these young kids who are nothing but wannabes."

She said parents of those targeting the elderly residents were unaware of their children's activities and were "absolutely horrified" when notified.

"You can't blame the parents and you can't blame the Mongrel Mob - they are coming to us with information too."

Thanks to the publicity surrounding thefts and vandalism at the village, where some residents were scared to leave their flats due to "young thugs", support from the community had been good, "but needs to continue", she said.

Police relations had also improved, thanks to the improved flow of information from the community.

She said the situation for the elderly residents was not unique.

"It happens everywhere."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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