Shotguns stolen from Dargaville home

Two guns have been stolen from a Dargaville property, just days after burglars made off with a stash of firearms from an Auckland property.

Gun owners are being warned to keep their firearms locked away, following the most recent theft, which took place yesterday afternoon.

The owner of the Dargaville house returned home at 2.30pm to find the property had been broken into, and two guns and some jewellery had been stolen.

The guns, described as a 12 gauge shotgun with 30 inch blue barrel, and a camouflage semi-automatic 12 gauge shotgun, had not been locked away, police said.

"Firearms that aren't safely stored are at risk of falling into the hands of criminals," Northland police operations manager Inspector Marty Ruth said. "Firearms owners must lock their guns away as required by the law."

The theft took place on the same day as a two-week Australasian-wide campaign encouraging the public to report forearms in the possession of unlicensed holders was launched.

It is the first time New Zealand police have been involved in Operation Unification, which has been held in Australia for three years.

"We are concerned by the number of firearms we find when executing search warrants and we need to get illicit firearms out of the hands of criminals for the safety of everyone in the community," Mr Ruth said.

He urged anyone who is aware of illegally held weapons to report it.

The Dargaville burglary came just four days after an Auckland gun collector had his impressive stash of weapons -- including semi-automatic rifles, shotguns and vintage guns -- stolen from his house in Bucklands Beach. The thieves also stole about 5000 rounds of ammunition, as well as jewellery and other items.

It is believed they may have targeted the property for the firearms.


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