Firearms stolen while man in church
The thieves who broke into a Foxton man's home had just one target in mind - his firearms collection.
Fourteen of Paul Van Echten's firearms were taken some time between 10.15am and 12.15pm as he attended church on December 8.
Thieves smashed a window into a sleepout and forced open a double locked door to take firearms and ammunition.
They were the only items stolen in the raid.
A keen hunter, Mr Van Echten said he had amassed a collection of guns over the past 40-odd years, and there were a few among the number taken that were particularly special, including a gold 1978 Cherokee 30-30 Winchester Commemorative rifle with his name engraved on it.
Three of the rifles belonged to his son-in-law.
All up they were probably worth about $5000, he said.
People had given him guns over the years, older people who had given up renewing their licences among them, he said.
They'd emptied his dive bag of gear as one of their methods of carrying the guns.
"They just grabbed whatever was available and walked out the door," he said.
A witness saw two men about the time of the burglary, and was able to give a discription to police.
Both men were described as in their mid-twenties, one with a mousy blond mullet, tanned skin and solid, muscular build and a tribal tattoo on his left shoulder to his elbow.
The first man was wearing a red singlet with a yellow image and rugby shorts.
A second man was described as having short dark, wavy hair.
The pair got into a dark black or green sedan with a spoiler and black wheels.
Foxton Constable Alex Gulliver said it was concerning that the guns were the only thing taken from the house, and what they may be used for.
Anyone who recognises the description of the men or their vehicle or has knowledge of the guns is asked to contact the Foxton police station on (06) 363 5036. Information can also be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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