Dogs: man's best friend - but not man's best accomplice when committing a burglary.

Even Rangi Richard King's lawyer Kieran Tohill accepted it was inexplicable.

"It just seems odd and stupid to take one's dog on a burglary spree," he said.

"It doesn't make sense."


Tohill put the bizarre decision down to his 30-year-old client mixing alcohol with sleeping pills on April 15 last year.

King entered a Clutha St property in Alexandra, through an open lounge door early that morning.

He grabbed an iPad, two cellphones, a wallet, car keys and other items before his partner gave him away.

The victims were woken by their dog barking at another dog.

They saw King bolt from the address and run off towards the road but his canine sidekick had not been informed of the escape plan.

"The defendant has then stopped and came back for his dog and called it by the name 'Nala' before decamping with the dog towards Clutha St," court documents said.

King continued to Eureka St and again entered a house through an unlocked door.

Despite the elderly victims being asleep in their bedroom, the man ventured in and rifled through bedside tables and a dresser.


King made off with a cellphone, a radio, a gold chain and a set of hearing aids worth $500.

The "smoking gun", according to Tohill, was that a senior police officer who lived nearby knew the dog.

Shortly after the second burglary, King and Nala were collared.

When police searched the defendant, they found the majority of the stolen items.

King told officers he had no idea where he had been or what he had been up to before his arrest.

He was taken to Queenstown police station for processing and his unco-operative behaviour began with threats he was going to "kick off".


On the way to a cell, without warning, he head-butted a constable.

The man bled heavily from a wound to his lip and had to seek dental care, a police summary said.

When questioned about the attack later, King explained he had sneezed.

The court heard the defendant had previous convictions for burglary, receiving, unlawful sexual connection, drug offending and breaches of sentence.

But Tohill said up until last year, he had a job, a relationship and played rugby for the local club.

"For the first time he had settled down," he said.


Judge Kevin Phillips said the break-ins had had a lasting effect on the families concerned. They no longer felt safe in their own homes and one victim felt forced to relive the ordeal when King sent an apology letter from prison without warning.

The defendant was convicted of two counts of burglary, one of assault, a breach of community work and was re-sentenced for previously using a stolen bank card.

King was jailed for three years and four months.