Anger at 'lowlife' earthquake-related crime

By Paul Harper

File photo / NZ Herald
File photo / NZ Herald

The looting of the home of a woman missing presumed dead in the Canterbury earthquake has angered New Zealanders.

The home of Donna Manning, a producer and presenter at Canterbury Television, was burgled while her children waited for news on their mother on Tuesday.

On Twitter, users reacted angrily.

"Shame on lowlife's for burgling missing reporter Donna Manning's home whilst her children stand vigil at the collapsed CTV building!" Rosemarie Begbie wrote.

"Any people caught looting should be dropped in the middle of Hagley park and left at the mercy of the crowd," Phil Wheeler wrote.

Two men arrested for allegedly stealing emergency power generators appeared in court this morning.

The two men - 23-year-old Owen Anthony Jackson, a fisherman and Jed Wilson-Calver, 22, unemployed - were last night arrested after allegedly stealing three $6000 emergency power generators.

In a separate incident, a looter was caught red handed by police stealing a pearl drum set from a music store in Blenheim Road in the early hours of this morning.

The thief had smashed the front window to gain entry. Police caught and arrested a man 15 metres from the store.

There have also been reports of at least two people - apparently of Australian nationality - presenting themselves to the fire service as both Urban Search and Rescue and Disaster Victim Identification staff. Enquiries showed these people are not credited to either role.

District Commander Superintendent Dave Cliff said as well as making arrests for burglaries and thefts, police had been dealing with cases of drunken disorder and people breaching cordons.

"We urge you to be vigilant, look after the property of your neighbours and if you see something suspicious don't hesitate to call police."

Police are continuing to patrol the city with the New Zealand Defence Force, Mr Cliff said.

"We are ramping up our reassurance patrols around the city," he said."In he next 48-hours you will see a radical saturation of patrols."

Police have received reports of people imitating officials, such as aid workers and EQC staff, including one asking to see a resident's personal possessions with the aim of returning to steal them.

"Please ask for ID, they will have it [if they are legitimate," Mr Cliff said.

People who have officials come to their home can also call authorities to confirm the identity of the official.

Mr Cliff was aware of people sneaking into cordons "thinking they are clever".

"Frankly it's stupid and ridiculous," he said.

Kapiti Coast police have also received a couple of reports of a Maori man, aged in his late 30s or early 40s, seen hanging around outside Raumati Beach School yesterday morning, claiming to be a victim of the earthquake.

Kapiti Mana Area Commander Inspector John Spence said the man had been approaching parents dropping off their child asking for money so he could travel home.

The man was driving a forest green coloured 1990's sedan car.

Mr Spence said police want the community to be aware of these types of scams that are active, following Tuesday's devastating quake. It is appalling that there are some members in our community ready to capitalise on other people's misery.

"If you want to donate to the Christchurch earthquake fund, please make sure it is legitimate. The same goes for people who claim to be victims of the quake, make sure they are genuine before you provide them any money."

Your views

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n6 at 25 Jul 2014 19:45:29 Processing Time: 657ms