Thieves rip apart Birthright raffle prize

BEN STRANG
Last updated 12:48 29/11/2012

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Kapiti Observer

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Thieves broke into the Birthright centre in Otaki over the weekend, vandalising and stealing contents of a raffle drawn on Friday for a White Ribbon Day fundraiser.

The raffle prize was torn apart, with a box of chocolates taken from the hamper.

Birthright co-ordinator Andre Baker said the theft was small, but very annoying for the centre, and was the first break-in at the centre he could remember.

"Fundamentally we are probably the oldest social service agency in the town. It's been going since 1968," Mr Baker said. "Our role is to support one-parent families and at the moment we have more than 120 families on the books. Birthright sponsors the White Ribbon community barbecue each year and I guess what was more disappointing was that we had a raffle donated and whoever got in ripped it to pieces."

He said they had to ring the raffle winner to tell them their prize had been vandalised, with some items stolen.

"You had to inform the lucky winner that unfortunately, their raffle had been vandalised. That was pretty disappointing.

"There were a whole lot of food items, chocolate items, a whole lot of stuff."

Mr Baker said the offenders must have been small to get in through the security bars.

He said the damage was small and a local resident had fixed the broken window free on Monday to save on repair costs.

The White Ribbon fundraiser saw 200 donated sausages sold, and Mr Baker said the funds raised from the barbecue would go towards the White Ribbon fundraiser next year.

Some time between Friday, 5pm and Monday, 9am, a rear door window was smashed and offenders entered through a small gap between security bars, Constable Callan Nikora said. If anyone has information about the theft, call Otaki police on 06 364 7366.

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