Oamaru Police are following several leads after more than 215 sheep were shot at two properties in the Ngapara area over the last two weeks.
The first incident occurred at Peter and Janine Stackhouses’ farm on Conlans Rd where about 195 sheep were shot over the weekend of June 21-22.
The second incident occurred a couple of kilometres away at John and Wendy Dodds’ farm on Dodds Rd where about 23 sheep were shot overnight on Sunday, June 29.
Detective Warren Duncan said while they had no concrete suspects they had been interviewing several people following good information from the public.
Whoever has been involved would have associates or friends who would have noticed them leave at night, or would have noticed them with a firearm, or who they may have confided in, he said.
Police had been conducting a scene examination at the second property which has led them to believe both shootings are linked as there are a number of similarities in each case, Detective Duncan said.
It appeared that a firearm had been used during both killings and he confirmed there were no casings located at either property, however he did not want to speculate on the exact circumstances without concrete evidence, he said.
“It is one of those unusual cases.
“I’ve never come across a mass shooting like this before.”
It was also too early to say if there was only one person involved and whether they used sophisticated sights or even spotlights, the detective said.
“There could be so many scenarios. We’ve got to keep it relatively broad.”
Detective Duncan said these incidents had been “devastating” for the owners as well as the community and people needed to “keep an eye on each other”.
“The first lot of shootings here caused a fair amount of panic and concern in the community.”
He wanted to encourage people to contact their neighbours, check their stock more regularly and if possible move them closer to their homes or place dogs near them as alarms, Detective Duncan said.
“They’ve got to get a good balance between security and not living in a prison.
“I don’t want the local community in lock-down or feeling like they are in a prison because of somebody’s actions.”
He also wanted people to watch out for people driving in the area – if any suspicious vehicles or people were seen their details needed to be given to the police, he said.
Mr Dodd said the loss of his uninsured sheep meant more to him than just money and he felt uncomfortable that somebody had come onto his property at night.
“It is just a total invasion.”
People have got to be aware of what has been going on and the person who has done this needed to be stopped, he said.
The area were the sheep were found was not accessible by vehicles so the person involved would have needed to have been quite fit to cover the distance on foot, Mr Dodd said.
Anyone with information can call Detective Duncan confidentially on 03 433 1416.
In relation to this latest incident, police would like to hear from anyone who saw any suspicious vehicles or people in the area of Crown Hill, Conlans Rd and Peaks Rd overnight on Sunday.
By RUBY HARFIELD
PHOTO: RUBY HARFIELD
TOTAL INVASION: Wendy and John Dodd inspect some of the sheep which were killed at their property on Sunday night.