Home ransacked while pensioner in hospital

By Amelia Wade

The injured man was found in this block of Taniwha St flats. Photo / Natalie Slade
The injured man was found in this block of Taniwha St flats. Photo / Natalie Slade

A 65-year-old man was found in a pool of blood in his Housing New Zealand home by his neighbour and a week later his flat was broken into, ransacked and his couch torched.

Police are yet to determine whether the two incidents are connected, but are asking anyone who knows what happened to contact them.

The man is recovering in hospital from a broken neck and a brain bleed after being found in his Glen Innes flat on Friday, May 11.

"He was found lying down in a pool of blood, unconscious, by his neighbour," said Detective Rob Cabusao of Glen Innes CIB.

By the time police arrived, the man was awake but he was groggy and could not remember what happened to him.

Police do not know if he was attacked or whether he fell and injured himself.

Mr Cabusao said there were no signs of a struggle in the man's house and so police were keeping an open mind.

Yesterday, they were still talking to witnesses and locals.

But while the man was recovering in hospital, his home was vandalised and torched.

Around 2am on Friday, May 18, the man's home in Taniwha St was broken into, ransacked and vandalised and his couch was set on fire.

Mr Cabusao said neighbours saw smoke coming from the flat and called the FireService.

Fire safety investigators determined that the blaze was deliberately lit.

"As well, there were things thrown around and it wasn't the firemen that did that. There was also graffiti on the wall," Mr Cabusao said.

When the victim was told that his flat had been ransacked and his couch had been set alight, he rolled his eyes and sighed but was limited with his movements because of his neck-brace, Mr Cabusao said.

Although it appeared to have been ransacked, police couldn't yet be sure whether anything had been stolen.

"Without the victim going back to his house and saying, 'this is missing, that is missing', we can't really tell.

"Nothing obvious or of value [is missing] so far, but we can't confirm anything without the victim going home," Mr Cabusao said.

Police couldn't be certain that the two events were connected because they were still talking to witnesses and the victim did not remember what happened.

"It's possibly linked, but we're keeping an open mind."

Mr Cabusao understood the man would soon be discharged from Auckland Hospital to a brain injury recovery unit in Swanson.

Anyone with information about what happened is urged to contact the Glen Innes CIB on (09) 524 1920 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

- NZ Herald

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