Police seek information after ‘horrific’ burglary

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Police are seeking information from the public following a ‘despicable’ burglary at the home of an elderly man in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The 94-year-old man, who lived alone, had been burgled at his Oamaru home at about 2.45am.

Police were not revealing the street name to respect the elderly man’s privacy and due to the fact that inquiries were continuing.

Oamaru Police Detective Sergeant Dan Keno said the elderly man woke up to noises and was held down while an offender or offenders removed valuable items from his home.

“Clearly for the elderly victim, this is very distressing and upsetting.”

As inquiries were at an early stage, police were not in a position to identify the items that were stolen.

Police were conducting a scene examination and completing inquiries in the area yesterday, Detective Sergeant Keno said.

“Targeting elderly people in our community is despicable and police will be doing their utmost to locate those responsible and hold them to account.”

The elderly man was being supported by Victim Support and police were trying to organise as much help for him as possible, he said.

“He’s doing very well considering these events.”

Age Concern Waitaki co-ordinator Wayne Stringer said: “I just think it is absolutely despicable. It is horrific really.”

The community needed to work together to express their abhorrence and maybe it was time to take to the streets like with the synthetic cannabis march, Mr Stringer said.

“It is really affecting well over a third of the community.”

However, Oamaru was generally a safe place and the community needed to have confidence that the police would be able to deal with it, he said.

Police were urging anyone who may have information that might assist in solving this crime to contact Oamaru Police on 433 1400.

People can also provide information anonymously via the organisation Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

By RUBY HARFIELD