Brothers stole vaccines, haul of drugs, court told

Chicken pox and hepatitis vaccines - not usually targeted by thieves - were among an array of medications allegedly stolen from an Oamaru medical practice last month, which police say was the handiwork of two siblings.

Jamie Ross Cunningham (32) and his younger brother, Harley Cunningham (30), both of Oamaru, appeared in the dock together at the Oamaru District Court yesterday, charged with burglary and unlawful possession of a firearm.

A police summary of facts alleged between 8.46pm on August 21 and 1am on August 22, the pair approached the front doors of Whitestone Family Practice in Ribble St and pried them open with a crowbar.

They ended up entering and leaving on four separate occasions, but not before making their way through the premises to search rooms and rifle through desks.

It is alleged they also used tools and a grinder in an ultimately fruitless attempt to break open a locked safe, which was later found to be damaged beyond repair.

When they finally left the medical practice they took with them a large haul of drugs and vaccines, which included four pre-filled syringes of Boostrix, one of Havrix, chicken pox and hepatitis A and B vaccines, codeine, paracetamol, ibuprofen, prentozone and stomatal.

When police executed a search warrant at the pair's home on September 2, several items related to the burglary were found.

During the search a sawn-off, double-barelled shotgun was found in a hot water cupboard, and two shotgun cartridges were found in the kitchen.

Both refused to talk when questioned by police about the burglary.

However, Jamie told police the weapon belonged to his brother.

The brothers were remanded without plea to appear on October 16.

It was the second burglary at the practice within the space of three weeks. The first occurred on August 1.

Police believe controlled drugs were targeted on that occasion.

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