Community rallies in aftermath of burglary

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The traumatic burglary of the home of a 94-year-old man last month has brought the community together, the co-ordinator for Age Concern Waitaki says.

The elderly man was awoken to noises inside his Oamaru home at about 2.45am on December 3.

Detective Sergeant Dan Keno said the offender or offenders held the man down in his bed while removing valuable items from his home.

Mr Wayne Stringer said there had been a number of people who had come into the office with gifts and offers of help for the man.

There had been donations from New World Northside, an asparagus grower from Palmerston, Christmas gifts from members of the community and people had also offered to help chop wood for him, Mr Stringer said.

Age Concern had received many phone calls from concerned citizens and both Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher and Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean had sent the man letters.

“It really brought the community together,” he said.

The man’s neighbours had also been wonderful.

It had been very hard for the elderly man after such a traumatic event – he needed to get new locks and alarms at his house – but he was doing really well considering, Mr Stringer said.

The co-ordinator said the man had been very pleased with the support from the community.

“He thought it was fantastic.”

Oamaru Police are still investigating the incident and are currently waiting on forensic results.

Anyone with any information is encouraged to phone Oamaru Police on 433 1400 or they can provide information anonymously by call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

By RUBY HARFIELD