Young thieves steal from Wingatui woman

A Wingatui woman is warning her neighbours to be security conscious after a group of opportunistic young thieves stole from her home in broad daylight last week.

The woman in her late 60s, who did not wish to be named, had taken advantage of a nice day to open the doors and windows of her Gladstone Rd North home, and was lying on her bed reading when the theft took place.

An arm reached through her bedroom door, which was close to her open front door, and grabbed her television remote and wireless modem.

The woman gave chase, but the group of ‘‘cheeky little brats’’ were too quick for her.

She estimated the group of ‘‘four or five’’ youngsters were aged about 12 to 13 years.

‘‘It gave me quite a shock, and has left me feeling anxious — this is such an open area,’’ she said.

‘‘It is also really frustrating, because now I can’t even watch the television.’’

Given the youth of the perpetrators, who were on foot, the woman believes they probably live in the area.

She reported the theft to the police, who were investigating, but it seemed there was little that could be done.

‘‘So, I guess this is a cautionary tale for people living out here to be careful.

‘‘There are some toe rags out there.’’

Acting Senior Sergeant Ian Paulin, of Dunedin, said the incident was a ‘‘wake-up call’’ for people in the community.

‘‘While 99% of people are obeying the lockdown, there are elements of society out there that are looking to take advantage,’’ Sgt Paulin said.

‘‘It is always our battle as police.’’

It was likely peer pressure had contributed towards the youngsters ‘‘doing things they wouldn’t normally do’’.

Sgt Paulin believed the stolen remote and other equipment had been probably discarded in someone’s back yard or under a bush.

‘‘This is a reminder for people that even when you are at home, there can be opportunists around to take advantage of open doors.’’

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