Victim-turned-sleuth gets the better of burglar

Ian Soanes, of Cardrona,  rides down Dunedin's  Baldwin St on one wheel in 2010. The bike is one...
Ian Soanes, of Cardrona, rides down Dunedin's Baldwin St on one wheel in 2010. The bike is one of the items recovered in Alexandra. Photo by Jane Dawber.
Central Otago police are praising the efforts of burglary-victim-turned-detective Ian Soanes, who tracked down items stolen from his Cardrona property last month.

However, Mr Soanes was extremely upset about how badly damaged the recovered items were.

Among the estimated $15,000 of items taken from a shed at his Cardrona Adventure Park in late May was his specially modified stunt bike that had great sentimental value - it was the bike he rode down and then up Dunedin's Baldwin St, the steepest street in the world, on one wheel in 2010.

Detective Sergeant Derek Shaw said Mr Soanes had been proactive in trying to track down the stolen goods.

On Wednesday, Mr Soanes' detective work led him to the premises of an Alexandra scrap-metal dealer.

There, he saw a partially dismantled trailer, which he recognised as the one taken in the burglary. He immediately contacted police, who later searched the dealer's lock-up.

They recovered most of the items, including the bike, which was also partially dismantled.

Mr Soanes said he was happy to find the bike, but the discovery was bittersweet because of the condition it was in.

"... I've got to spend thousands on it [to get it back into shape]."

Some items, including batteries, helmets, a pressure sprayer and cash, were still to be recovered.

Det Sgt Shaw said police inquiries were continuing.

"He [Mr Soanes] has done extremely well to persist and get the result he has."

A 24-year old Alexandra man has been arrested and charged with burglary. He will appear in the Alexandra District Court next week.



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