Nelson farmers handing over footage to police after thief refuses reprieve

Glenduan dairy farmer Warwick King had his farm gate milk vending machine broken into for the money.
MARTIN DE RUYTER

Glenduan dairy farmer Warwick King had his farm gate milk vending machine broken into for the money.

A 48-hour reprieve for a thief who stole from a Nelson dairy farm has been shunned leaving owners with no choice but to hand over information to police.

Ratabank Farms owners Warwick and Luke King said they would hand over footage of a man who stole about $200 worth of milk money from their vending machine if no-one came forward by Tuesday evening.

The offer was simple, pay back the money taken in the early Sunday theft and work off the damage to the farm's machine or face the law.

As of Wednesday no-one had come forward. Luke said it was unfortunate the offer was not taken up but he expected as much.

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He said all information they had would be handed over to police in the hope of tracking-down the offender.

The farmers have a video of the early morning theft, and Luke King said on Monday he had seen the offender before.

He posted the Tuesday deadline for the thief on Facebook hoping to prick the offender's conscience. On Monday, he released grainy images of the man, hoping someone who knew him would urge him to come forward.

Luke said police had collected fingerprints from the machine and he had also received tips via social media that he would also pass onto the Nelson Police Station.

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Warwick King said an inspection of the vending machine at the entrance to the boutique dairy farm, north of Nelson, early on Sunday revealed the door was jimmied open and money gone. Remembering the security cameras on site, Warwick asked son Luke to check the footage.

It showed a vehicle parked at the end of the driveway for about four minutes at 2.20am before driving up the 100 metre stretch of gravel to the farm's open shop-front.

A man left the passenger side of the vehicle. He kept his head low as he walked past the first camera, Luke said.

The footage showed a Caucasian man wearing dark denim pants, a black hooded jumper and slip on shoes.

When the man pried open the machine he damaged the metal and broke off the locks.

Anyone who may have seen suspicious activity in the area or who has information in relation to the incident has been asked to contact Nelson Police on 03-5463840. Information can also be provided via Crime Stoppers by phone on 0800 555 111 or the online reporting page.

 - Stuff

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