'We can't do it alone," Nathan Davis, the Senior Sergeant of the Tararua Police said, following an attempted burglary of firearms in Dannevirke.

"In the early hours of Sunday morning, there was an attempted burglary at a rural address in Dannevirke, where the lone occupant woke, turned on a torch and saw two people leaving the property," Mr Davis said. "On investigation, it was discovered the firearms cabinet had been targeted and two guns removed."

And, while the guns hadn't been stolen, probably because the alleged offenders had been disturbed, Mr Davis said the outcome could have had serious consequences.

"In this case, the two had decamped. But stolen firearms aren't going to be used for hunting, they're used for serious crime and against members of the public or police.


"Police attended the incident but, in this particular case, good work from a member of the public who identified the [alleged] offenders after hearing what had occurred put two and two together and then brought these two [suspects] into the police station in Dannevirke, was simply outstanding. For someone to realise this isn't good enough, that's wonderful. To stand up and do something, ringing us straight away is a wonderful result.

"Police rely on people helping because we can't do this alone and this incident just shows how heavily we do rely on the public and it also shows the relationship police in Tararua have built with the community."

A teenager and a youth, both from Dannevirke, were held overnight Sunday at the Dannevirke Police Station and appeared in the Palmerston North District Court yesterday charged with burglary.

Mr Davis said the alleged offenders had "some knowledge" of the rural address they are accused of targeting.

He was concerned two offenders were comfortable to enter a house where someone was sleeping to carry out a burglary.

"It's an unusual modus operandi. I'm also concerned at the ease by which the firearms were removed from the cabinet and inquiries are still continuing. But I want to remind people of their obligations under the Firearms Act."