A man has been charged with burglary and police are trying to find owners for his hoard of alleged stolen property after a chance "catch" in Hastings early yesterday morning.
Detective Sergeant Sally Patrick said police were alerted by a witness and the man was caught returning to an address to collect stolen items that had fallen from a trailer used in a burglary of the property earlier in the night.
The man is alleged to have burgled two properties on Sunday night, and a search of a property in suburban Mahora yesterday uncovered property stolen in another recent burglary, and other items also believed to have been stolen.
Appearing in Hastings District Court yesterday, facing two charges of burglary, one of cultivating cannabis and one of possessing utensils for the misuse of drugs, the 43-year-old man was remanded in custody without pleas to appear again on January 24, when he is expected to face further charges.
Patrick said it was a particularly good "catch" by the night staff, meaning a trailer, a mountain bike, a barbecue table, a hose reel, gas bottles, a wooden outdoor table, two bench seats, two canvas chairs, an outdoor umbrella, a gas fire pit and frozen food were quickly returned to the owners.
A trailer load of outdoor furniture and other items were returned to a third victim yesterday, but police found a range of other property they suspected was also stolen, including lawnmowers, an apparently unused aluminium-framed gazebo, and garden ornaments.
"It was good work by the witness and attending police officers," said Patrick, as she and other officers inspected and catalogued other items at the search address yesterday.
"Police believe there is still more stolen property at the address of the offender."
People who recognise any of the items pictured or who have been burgled in the area were being asked to contact the Hawke's Bay Police tactical crime unit on (06) 8730561.
The discovery was similar to at least two other bigger and unrelated finds at residential properties in the Napier-Hastings area in the past year, also with drugs links.
In April, sheds and shipping containers on a Bay View property were raided by police, who recovered a range of stolen property including go-karts and parts taken from the Hawke's Bay Karting Club raceway at Roy's Hill in July 2014.
That search was made after a bag of cannabis was found at a property during a police hunt for a man who had failed to appear in court.
In August, a search of a property near Bridge Pa resulted in stolen property being returned to more than 40 victims of burglaries over the previous two years.
A man is awaiting trial on 45 charges of receiving stolen property and a small number of other charges, including burglary, theft, taking of a vehicle, and possession of a pipe for the use of methamphetamine.