A large ceramic tiki stolen from Custom House Gallery in Tyne St last year has been returned to its rightful place.
The 50cm tiki, made by Oamaru artist Jill McIntyre, a hand-turned wooden bowl made of beech wood and a Christmas hamper were stolen from the gallery during a break-in on December 10.A 32-year-old Oamaru man recently appeared in the Dunedin District Court charged with burglary. He pleaded guilty and was remanded in custody until sentencing at the Oamaru District Court on March 15.
The man, a freezing worker, had been drinking and was "moderately intoxicated", police said.
He broke a kitchen window to gain entry to the gallery.
Once inside, he removed the tiki, bowl and hamper.
When spoken to by police, he said he had been drinking and had acted impulsively.
The man showed remorse and paid for the costs associated with the replacement of the broken window and the hamper.
Mrs McIntyre praised the efforts of police and said she was "over the moon" when she heard the tiki had been returned.
A North Otago Art Society spokesman said the society’s members were "delighted" when they were told the tiki and bowl had been recovered by police.
He said bars were to be installed on the building’s windows that faced on to alleyways.
- Daniel Birchfield