SPCA counts cost of thefts

By Lindy Laird

3 comments
DAMAGE AND LOSS: John Logie with part of the door off the Bay of Islands SPCA's implement shed.
DAMAGE AND LOSS: John Logie with part of the door off the Bay of Islands SPCA's implement shed.

Thieves ripped off the front of the Bay of Islands SPCA's implement shed and stole every item inside.

To rub salt into the wound, they loaded the contents, including a new Stihl chainsaw, into the SPCA's recently purchased cage-sided trailer and took that too.

"They stripped the shed bare," SPCA manager John Logie said. "They took everything, then loaded it into the trailer."

They even took the poles with hoops on the end for catching cats and other unwilling animals, he said.

Staff are reeling after last Sunday's discovery of the theft that probably took place during wild weather the night before. The noise of that storm would have muffled the sound of the break-in, which included the use of bolt cutters to get through chains and locks on the trailer, and the front doors being wrenched off. Normally, a neighbour's dogs bark at night if someone is at the SPCA building in Waimate North Rd, near the State Highway 10 junction, Mr Logie said.

The organisation is a charity that survives solely on community help, and much of its equipment has been donated, he said. The trailer, with the licence plate YT40T, was bought from targeted fundraising and donations.

The police haven't recovered the SPCA's stolen trailer or other gear from what appeared to be a well-organised incident. Area police manager Senior Sergeant Brain Swann said there has been a spate of burglaries in the mid-North lately, including at a shop in Paihia.

The police are following strong leads regarding break-ins and burglary at the Towai petrol station and at Noel Leeming in Waipapa last week. Mr Swann said anyone buying goods such as cigarettes, electronic gear or even new clothes on Facebook or through other people should be aware the penalty for receiving stolen property can be as high as for burglary.

Meanwhile, Mr Logie said the SPCA will now probably install security cameras. There were signs the thieves also tried to break into the offices and cattery on the night, he said. That building had an alarm installed after it was burgled two nights in a row in January 2014. Laptops, a projector, pet products and a TV donated as a raffle prize were among items stolen on the first night, with thieves returning the next night to steal a truck. A sticking plaster left at the scene was DNA-tested and eventually led to an arrest.

Any information can be given to Kerikeri police on 09 4079211 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

- Northern Advocate

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