A South Auckland woman watched in amazement as a couple
burgled her neighbour's home while a young child sat waiting
in their getaway car.
The burglary occurred on Saturday morning in Papatoetoe while
those living in the house, a Burmese family, were at a
The thieves arrived in an old Subaru - and were brazen enough
to drive right down the driveway and circle the backyard.
A young man prised open a window, ransacked the house and
left with a computer while a woman waited for him outside
with a child visible in the back seat.
Neighbour Cheryl Manukau was watching the burglary unfold
after being alerted by her 10-year-old daughter Dee-Jay, but
did not have a telephone to call police.
Ms Manukau told the New Zealand Herald she could not
understand why they would bring the child with them.
"To me it seemed like a family thing, I couldn't believe it."
She thought the child was aged about 2 and the adults looked
to be in their 20s.
"We must have disturbed them because they had been in the
house and apparently took a computer. When I [saw them] they
must have been going back."
When the woman realised she had been seen, she sped off the
property, leaving her co-offender to escape on foot, probably
over a back fence.
Ms Manukau said the child looked frightened, gripping the
seat tightly and looking around.
"What were they thinking with a child? It would be different
if it was just guys but still not right."
Htoolar Wah Shwe, 18, was devastated by the loss of her
computer, which she needs before school begins at the end of
the month. But worse than that was the sense of violation and
invasion of space the family had.
They arrived in New Zealand as refugees and came here to feel
safe, but the weekend burglary has left them uneasy.
"It wasn't nice. My mum was so worried, so sad. We've been
here six years and that's the first time this has happened in
Counties Manukau police spokeswoman Ana-Mari Gates-Bowey said
police were investigating.
Last May, a man tried to rob two Ngaruawahia dairies at
gunpoint while an 11-month-old and its teenage parents waited
in a car outside.
When armed police stopped and confronted them, the mother got
out of the car cradling her baby.