Hunt for Auckland's backyard bunny burglar

Lily, a Netherland Dwarf rabbit, is one of the animals that has been taken.
Lily, a Netherland Dwarf rabbit, is one of the animals that has been taken.

Police are on the lookout for a bunny burglar after a spate of rabbit thefts around Auckland.

Fifteen rabbits have been stolen from backyards in Mt Albert, Blockhouse Bay and Massey over the past three weeks.

The rabbits - including the Netherland dwarf breed, mini lops and a mini rex - are worth between $40 and $50 each, and offenders are stealing them from their hutches in the early hours of the morning.

Police are looking into the thefts and warned breeders to be on the alert for suspicious behaviour.


WATCH: CCTV footage of a rabbit theft

One breeder, who does not want to be named, had 10 rabbits including babies and mothers stolen from her property over four separate occasions.

She set up CCTV cameras and put padlocks on her hutches in a bid to deter the burglars.

"We love our rabbits to bits," she said. "My rabbits all have names; they're all loved.

"We just want them back."

One mother Mini Rex, who was stolen, left behind a current litter.

Five three-week-old babies were also stolen without their mother.

"I'm really worried for them as the babies are so young and don't have a mother now.

"Whoever has taken them, please, bring them home," she said.

Constable Logan Delamere of Avondale Police, said CCTV footage taken by the breeder shows a person stealing rabbits from her property around 5am on Saturday September 10.

CCTV footage from a bunny burglary on September 10.
CCTV footage from a bunny burglary on September 10.



"We're looking to identify and locate this person but in the meantime, rabbit breeders can take preventative steps to ensure their animals' security," he said.

"Think about padlocking hutches, using CCTV cameras and sensor lights if you can.
Note down registrations of any suspicious vehicles near your home - often burglars will scope out a place beforehand."

"We're also asking pet shops to be alert for suspicious behaviour. If they have concerns about someone who is offering rabbits for sale then we'd like to hear from them."

If anyone has information about the person identified in the CCTV footage or knows about the rabbit thefts, please contact Avondale Police on 09 820 5623 or call Crimestoppers anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

- NZ Herald

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