$1000 reward after generator swiped

By Rebekah Philson

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Frank Gerbes, pictured holding a photograph of the stolen generator, is hoping a cash incentive will lead to its return. Photo / Paul Taylor
Frank Gerbes, pictured holding a photograph of the stolen generator, is hoping a cash incentive will lead to its return. Photo / Paul Taylor

A well-known hospitality identity is offering a $1000 cash reward to get his stolen generator back.

Hawke's Bay's Gala Caterers have been the target of multiple burglaries this year, the latest loss being a $30,000 generator stolen.

Owner Frank Gerbes believed it was highly likely the generator could be spotted by a member of the public, as "you'd see it a mile off".

"It's painted yellow. It's big, big as a car, big as the deck of a truck. It's got Gala Caterers written on it in big red letters," Mr Gerbes said.

The generator and its trailer were stolen from Oak Ave last weekend, a total loss of about $40,000.

It was fitted with wheel locks and clamps, and was also chained to a caravan.

"They cut [through] everything. They'd come prepared to get that generator."

The caterer had been the victim of several burglaries in the past six months, and as a result had equipped his storage shed with "alarms and everything".

This security proved successful, with multiple "silly buggers" getting caught.

His storage property used to have a house in front of it, but an unfortunate cooking incident by residents two years ago left his sheds vulnerable.

"Since that house got burnt down two years ago there's been no end of trouble."

The company's generator was stored in a tunnel shed next to the previously targeted building, without the heightened security.

The generator could not be seen without entering the shed, meaning it was likely the thieves already "knew what they wanted".

Oak Ave was equipped with private security footage, however access to these came at a cost. Mr Gerbes planned to fork out the $450 access fee.

He said the reward would be given for information relating to the generator's recovery.

The machine is an essential tool for the successful catering company, used almost nightly to fire up its caravans. Police had conducted a forensic examination of the scene but did not have any lines of inquiry. However, Mr Gerbes said he thought the burglary could be drug-related.

- Anyone with information, please phone Hawke's Bay Police on 06 831 0700.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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