School burglar's 'disgraceful' act

A Palmerston North burglar defecated on a bench before breaking into a school classroom, and he later laughed when shown a photo of what he had done.

About 11.30am on April 23, Tamati Takarua, 20, and two friends were wandering about the grounds of Winchester Primary School.

‘‘Outside classroom six Takarua has pulled down his trousers, perched on the bench and defecated,’’ a police summary said.

He and his friends then broke into ‘‘classroom five’’, taking more than 20 attempts to break the glass.

From there they stole a laptop computer worth $1200.

All that was captured on surveillance cameras.

Takarua was also a party to three other burglaries, carting the stolen goods to a vehicle.

On April 12, items valued at $7632 were taken from a teacher’s room at Palmerston North Boys’ High School’s College House boarding school; two mountainbikes worth $4075 from a Freyberg High School shed; and $9000 worth of property from a Palmerston North house on May 16.

Takarua shouldn’t have been in Palmerston North as he was banned from the city as part of post-sentence conditions imposed last year, the Palmerston North District Court heard yesterday.

He served 10 months’ home detention for a string of Christmas-time burglaries around Celeano Park, Palmerston North, in late 2010.

On those occasions Takarua would bike away from the crime scenes and was described by police at the time as a skinny man with scruffy hair on a bike.

This time he was jailed for 18 months on three charges of burglary, four of receiving stolen goods and one of breaching post-detention conditions.

He turned up to court yesterday with letters of apology for his victims.

Judge Gregory Ross said that was a good effort from someone who left school with no qualifications.

The judge said Takarua’s behaviour during the Winchester school burglary was ‘‘disgraceful’’.

Manawatu Standard