'It's so calculating': Fleur shocked at break-in

Fleur's Place owner Fleur Sullivan outside the Moeraki restaurant where thousands of dollars...
Fleur's Place owner Fleur Sullivan outside the Moeraki restaurant where thousands of dollars worth of meat and seafood were stolen during a burglary on August 7. PHOTO: DANIEL BIRCHFIELD
The theft of tens of thousands of dollars worth of seafood and meat from popular Moeraki restaurant Fleur's Place has left its owner shocked and saddened.

Two of the seaside restaurant's freezers, located outside the premises itself, were broken into and a large amount of product stolen.

Owner Fleur Sullivan said she was alerted to the brazen theft, in the early hours of August 7, by a courier that morning.

It appeared heavy locks on the freezers were drilled into so they could be removed. At least two suspicious vehicles were seen in the area on the morning of the burglary.

She said a massive amount of seafood, meat and other items were stolen during the burglary, which she believed was a "set-up''.

Twenty buckets of muttonbird; between 70kg and 80kg of frozen whitebait in 250g vacuum-sealed bags; a carton of queen scallops; terakihi and leatherjacket fillets, also in vacuum packed bags; 75kg of sausages; 70kg of salami; fish and venison pie mix; fish stock and slabs of ice cream cake were among the items taken.

While she could not put an exact dollar value on the items, she said it was "in the tens of thousands''.

Ms Sullivan, who opened the restaurant in 2002, said the theft affected not only her, but her staff and those who worked to supply the product.

"It's so calculating, you know they are not hungry. For somebody to be so calculating and disrespectful ... that's something that beggars belief.''

In the days after the burglary she was abused via text message by a person she believed was involved in the crime.

While insurance would cover the loss, she said it was not about money.

Ms Sullivan expressed disappointment that no-one had come forward with information on the burglary, and had offered a $5000 reward for information leading to the apprehension of the person, or people, responsible.

Constable Nathan Bobbette, of Palmerston, said a person of interest had been identified and a search warrant executed at an address, but no stolen items were recovered.

Investigations are continuing.

Ms Sullivan now planned to install security lights and cameras, something she thought she would never have to do.

"It's unfortunate. In the about 45 years I have been in this job and 16 years in Moeraki, it's never, ever entered my head. I don't go wondering who is going to burgle me.''



Sorry to hear of this brazen thievery,,,and it is becoming all to common around our country now.Here's hoping they choke on any samples they might think of trying.

I hope their eggs go rotten ( that is what my mother used to say about thieves) and I agree.