You'd think ripping up new carpet and taking down curtains would be a bit hard for some thieves but apparently not. Journalist Kelly Makiha talks to the victim of a brazen burglary.
• Covid 19 coronavirus: Rotorua police say burglaries down but family harm offences up
• Rotorua 'soiled sheets' burglary described in teen's court summary
• Taupō police arrest 38-year-old in relation to 10 burglaries and multiple drug charges
• Burglaries drop 42 per cent in Hawke's Bay during lockdown, crime overall well down
"Scumbags" have left a Rotorua couple feeling "gutted" after their vacant former rental property was broken into overnight and new curtains and carpet stolen.
Joanne Van Der Woude and her husband spent about $5000 and seven weeks over the lockdown doing up the rental, which is down a driveway and next door to their home on Sunset Rd, with a view to selling it.
She said they worked hard during those weeks to get the house looking great, only to have it destroyed by "dregs of society" who went into the home overnight on Sunday.
Van Der Woude said they had listed the home for sale on Facebook and had had two open homes, one on the day of the break-in and the other the Sunday before.
She said there was no sign of forced entry and she was left wondering if someone had scoped out the house at the open home and left a window open without her noticing as she was certain she locked the door at the end of the day.
Someone contacted her on Monday wanting to view the house and she was gobsmacked to find the door open and the new lounge carpet, secondhand bedroom carpet and new lounge curtains missing.
A roll of underlay was found at the top of the driveway, suggesting the thieves had parked on Sunset Rd and accidentally left it behind.
Van Der Woude said one of her neighbours came home at 1.30am on Monday after a night out and didn't notice the underlay, so it was assumed the burglary happened sometime after that.
Caught on camera: Thieves back as lockdown levels lift
Nikau's big plans for cash prize from Facebook contest
"I would say it would have been between 2am and 4am," she said.
It would have taken more than one person and they would have brought their own tools to rip up the carpet, she said.
None of the neighbours, some who lived only metres away, heard anything suspicious overnight.
Van Der Woude said she had lived at the house for 26 years and had never had any problem.
She said it was also possible the thieves had "window shopped" the house by looking at the listing on Facebook.
"I think the dregs of society use these sites to window shop then take what doesn't belong to them. Low. Very low," she said in a post about the burglary on Facebook.
She told the Rotorua Daily Post they were gutted because they had worked so hard and although they could claim insurance, it would cost them $1500 in excess.
"That's money we just don't have."
A member of the public has commented on Van Der Woude's post about the burglary offering to re-lay the carpet free of charge.
Van Der Woude told the Rotorua Daily Post that was a kind offer.
"There are some really nice people out there and it is heartening."
Rotorua police area prevention manager Inspector Ewan Dunsmuir said burglaries could be opportunistic or planned.
"Property usually taken from burglaries are electronic items, wallets and cash. These items are generally able to be carried from properties and often concealable, valuable and able to be either re-used or sold on."
In those burglaries, prevention was key by keeping property secure and out of sight.
Dunsmuir said burglaries involving large items requiring specialist removal or vehicles were rare.
He said furnished empty houses were at risk and police recommended using window locks, security lights and monitored alarm systems.
"We have not seen an obvious trend of using open homes as a way of identifying properties to target in the past 12 months. Neither have we seen any correlation to items on social media pages to thefts of items advertised."
He said whatever you were selling, it was best to take care not to disclose your location other than to those with genuine inquiries.
He warned residents potentially on the wrong side of stolen items that everything had a market value.
"So there is no such thing as a bargain. If the circumstances around any item don't seem legitimate, walk away and report it as a suspicious incident to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."