Beer thief caught with his pants down, on film

By Mike Barrington

Houhora sole charge policewoman Senior Constable Tracee Knowler is looking for a burglar with "a large chippie's crack".

And security camera pictures she put on Facebook showing him robbing the Houhora Liquor Store late on Christmas Eve are helping her track the thief down.

The CCTV pictures, which include grainy images of his face, show he wore gloves but didn't pull his pants up. "The thief will easily be identified by everybody that knows him. He is male, very large and with a 'crack' any decent chippie would be proud of," Ms Knowler said.

She told the Advocate the Facebook posting had produced a great response from the public, with "several bits of information" about the possible identity of the burglar which she was following up. She was "looking locally" and was confident of an arrest.

Houhora Liquor Store owner Wai Nicholson said the burglar came in through a back door and stole three Steinlager 18-packs and two cases of Rekorderlig Swedish cider.

"I've had customers come in and say 'sorry to hear about your break-in' and introduce themselves. I've just been blown away."

People have phoned in tips about the burglar -- after seeing the pictures on Ms Knowler said Facebook was becoming a great tool for crime prevention. While there was very little mobile phone coverage in the Houhora police catchment, most of the population had internet access.

- Northern Advocate

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