Anna Leask

Anna Leask is senior police reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Burglars steal bridal dress, rings - and food

Mohammad naim Mohammed, his partner Tiana Kausari , their son Eshan and Mr Mohammed's mother, Miriam, must also replace food they had only just bought. Photo / Greg Bowker
Mohammad naim Mohammed, his partner Tiana Kausari , their son Eshan and Mr Mohammed's mother, Miriam, must also replace food they had only just bought. Photo / Greg Bowker

A couple due to marry this month have been left devastated after burglars stole their wedding rings and the bride's dream dress - which they cannot afford to replace.

And they say they were caused further stress when police did not respond to their call for almost 24 hours.

Glen Innes couple Tiana Kausari and her fiance, Mohammed naim Mohammed, went out on Sunday to look at possible wedding venues.

They were planning to marry in a traditional Afghan ceremony on May 26 and hoped to book a hotel or hall in the Mt Wellington area.

After short-listing a few venues, they returned to their Taniwha St home to make their booking. But when they got home, they found they had been burgled.

Thieves had smashed through the back door and taken most of their possessions including a 55in television and sound system, all the food from the fridge and freezer, the lounge suite and their son's bed.

But the theft of the couple's gold wedding bands and her dress - a present from her mother valued at about $800 - upset Ms Kausari most.

"They trashed everything. They've chucked everything all over the rooms," she said. "They've taken our wedding rings, they've taken my engagement ring. We can't afford to get married now because we have to replace everything. You only get married once and you want it to be special. It sucks, everything is gone. I can't afford a new dress."

The couple, who live with Mr Mohammed's mother in the Housing New Zealand property, were not insured. They now face the cost of replacing what was taken.

"They've taken all our meat and our veges. We'd only just bought them. We can't afford to replace the food till next week."

Ms Kausari was also disgusted with the police response to the burglary. She called 111 immediately and was transferred to the nearest crime squad. She said she was told the squad was too busy to come to the house on Sunday.

She said police did not contact her after that, and she rang them repeatedly yesterday. The Glen Innes police station is 2km from the couple's home.

"The police response is shocking. It sucks," Ms Kausari said. "They are supposed to make the community feel safe and they don't do their jobs properly. What do they do all day - sit on their bums eating doughnuts? It's disgusting, it's ridiculous."

Inspector Regan James said police undertook to attend historical burglaries like Ms Kausari's within 24 hours and at a time agreed with the complainant.

"It is usual practice in cases of historical incidents such as this - when the offence has been committed and offenders are no longer at or near the scene - for the crime reporting line call-takers to take the initial complaint and then to refer the incident to the crime scene attendants.

"[They] are tasked with contacting the complainant to arrange a suitable time for them to attend and do a forensic examination of the property.

"There is a 24/7 CIB presence in the city but they are not usually tasked with attending historical burglaries."

Police visited the property yesterday afternoon and investigations into the burglary are continuing.

- NZ Herald

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