A Northland couple who had their wedding gifts stolen the day after they said "I do" say while they are glad an arrest has been made for the alleged theft, it is "a shame" it was someone so young.
Tina Cachemaille-Beattie and Henry Beattie became husband and wife on Easter Saturday and after spending the night together at the Quest Hotel in Whangarei, discovered the next morning their Toyota Highlander had been broken into and their wedding gifts, including a large sum of cash, were gone. Police said a 17-year-old had been arrested and charged with theft from a vehicle and is due to appear in court on April 26.
But despite being pleased a suspect had been found, Mrs Cachemaille-Beattie said it was also sad.
"I mean it's great that someone has been arrested but at the same time it's a shame it was someone so young. It's a waste of a life," she said.
It has been a stressful month for the newlyweds, who have not got any of their presents back. Mrs Cachemaille-Beattie said she has even had to take a month of unpaid leave from work.
"People were saying to us 'congratulations but at the same time it's stink that your wedding presents were stolen'. It's been really hard," she said.
Mrs Cachemaille-Beattie said the couple had originally planned to taxi to the hotel after their wedding so did not book a car park at the hotel. However, Mrs Cachemaille-Beattie decided not to drink so they drove their own vehicle to the hotel and parked it on Cameron St.
She said when she saw CCTV footage of the theft captured from a nearby store, she felt sick.
"When I saw [an alleged thief] crawling out of the back of our car I almost threw up on the lady's keyboard," she said. "Henry still hasn't seen it, he refuses to watch."
Friends set up a Givealittle page to help cover insurance excess and a total of $920 had been donated to date. Mrs Cachemaille-Beattie said she is overwhelmed by the kindness of people.
"A lot of them have been from friends who had already spent money for our wedding gifts and it's awesome but I feel kind of stink because they have to spend money on us again."