Intruders ransack historic priory

Many valuable historic objects at St Dominic’s Priory in Smith St, Dunedin, and the priory itself...
Many valuable historic objects at St Dominic’s Priory in Smith St, Dunedin, and the priory itself, were damaged during a break-in earlier this week. PHOTOS: CHRISTINE O’CONNOR

Catholic Diocese of Dunedin staff are devastated after intruders smashed a wooden door at St Dominic’s Priory on Monday and ransacked parts of the Historic Places category 1 building.

Property manger Craig Paterson said thousands of dollars of damage had been done.

As well as damaging historic paintings and other irreplaceable property, the offenders broke into a flat on site.

He said an elderly man lived there and kept watch on the building for the diocese.

"Fortunately, he wasn’t home when the building was broken into.

"They trashed the flat and left the bath on and flooded the place. The damage is significant.”

He said the building was locked and alarm on at the time. It was also insured.

Senior Sergeant Craig Dinnissen, of Dunedin, said, on the same day, a student flat in Cumberland St, North Dunedin, was burgled.

He said there were no signs of forced entry and items stolen included PlayStation 4 controllers, laptops, alcohol, tobacco, speakers and other miscellaneous items.

"We are aware that when times get tough, people start going window-shopping at residential addresses and commercial premises."

Snr Sgt Dinnissen said there had not yet been a noticeable increase in burglaries.

"I think it’s probably because a lot more people are at home.

"We hope that there won’t be an increase.”


I hope the police make every effort to find the idiots who did this.

Local journalism matters - now more than ever

As the Covid-19 pandemic brings the world into uncharted waters, Otago Daily Times reporters and photographers continue to bring you the stories that matter. For more than 158 years our journalists have provided readers with local news you can trust. This is more important now than ever.

As advertising drops off during the pandemic, support from our readers is crucial. You can help us continue to bring you news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter