A disabled man has been left feeling nervous and afraid to return to his Central Hawke's Bay home after it was burgled Sunday evening.
Jesse Bennett, 26, had been living independently in Waipawa for five years with his dog "Spot" after sustaining a serious head injury that paralysed the right side of his body in a car crash seven years ago.
He was spending the weekend with his grandmother in Napier when his mother, Helen Bennett, was alerted by Jesse's medical alarms that the power in his house had been turned off.
She said his carer went to the property to find two televisions, a PlayStation, his hat collection, a watch and Spot's bed had been stolen.
"He's really gutted. They've taken everything he enjoyed and things that he can't just replace. It's very disappointing that people have taken advantage of him and invaded his privacy."
Last night Jesse's Nana Rhonda Williams said Jesse was "nervous" about returning home and had stayed at her house a few extra nights because he didn't want to go back.
"He's nervous because of the break-in. I think it's going to really kick his backside in more ways than one. They [the stolen items] were the only things he had, he doesn't spend much time with people, so he depends on them a lot."
Ms Williams said "he'd do anything in the world" to have a job but after the crash he had been left paralysed and was now on a disability benefit.
"I feel gutted about this and I can't believe that people can be that low. They know he is disabled because his house has ramps and his setup for someone with a walking disability."
Yesterday Jesse spoke from his Nana's home alongside his canine companion, Spot.
"I'm a bit afraid of who could have done this to me and if it's going to happen again."
He said he was glad he wasn't home alone at the time and that it upset him to think it could happen again to him and Spot when they were home alone together.
Yesterday Ms Bennett took to Facebook to warn locals about the burglary and ask them to help keep an eye on local trading websites and social media pages.
A police spokeswoman confirmed police had attended the incident and enquires were ongoing.
Ms Bennett said she just wanted to see those who were responsible get caught.
"I'd like to see them get caught and it would be awesome if Jesse's stuff could be returned because he can't afford to replace the items.
"It really isn't fair because it affects him and stops him being happy living independently."
Police advised the public that there is a risk associated with purchasing goods online, noting that online trading sites in New Zealand work with police to deal with fraud and stolen goods.
Anyone who believes they are a victim of crime should report the matter to local police or alternatively information can be given anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.