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Police are worried guns stolen from a rural Dunedin home have fallen into the wrong hands.
Gun owners are being asked to lock all firearms away and be vigilant after two separate incidents in the past week.
In the first incident, on Sunday evening or Monday morning, thieves broke into a home and took a Beretta shotgun and two .22 rifles from a locked cabinet. In the second, thieves broke into a home but were unable to open the gun cabinet.
Acting Sergeant Helen Fincham-Putter, of Mosgiel, believed the two incidents were not linked but was concerned that people who should not have guns now had them.
‘‘A complete firearm is dangerous in the wrong hands.
‘‘Most firearms licence-holders are pretty good but these ones getting a hold of them are the ones that shouldn't have them,'' she said.
It was a concern to police that two lots of people were targeting firearms, Acting Sgt Fincham-Putter said.
‘‘I'm pretty sure the people knew they were there. They obviously wanted the firearms rather than being opportunist.
‘‘We don't think the two are linked but it just makes us a bit wary ... and when they don't appear to be linked, it's probably more of a concern,'' she said.
A Freeview television decoder and a video player were also stolen but other electronics, including a big-screen television, were left, Acting Sgt Fincham-Putter said.
She had advice for gun owners.
‘‘Firearms must be secured against theft and the firearms and ammunition stored separately, so if taken, the firearms cannot be fired. Police can offer advice on this and undertake security checks.''
Police have asked that the public reports anything suspicious and calls immediately on 111 or anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555-111.