Crime spree fears after hammer haul

ANNA WILLIAMS
Last updated 05:00 03/07/2014

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The owner of a Blenheim charter bus company is worried about a possible escalation in burglaries after five emergency hammers used to break glass were stolen from his buses.

Parkys Charters owner Graeme Parker, 66, went to pick up one of his three buses from Lansdowne Park on Tuesday morning.

He heard a loud buzzing noise coming from one of the buses and went to investigate. The lock was smashed on the new touring coach he bought two weeks ago and the door was open.

The noise was coming from inside the bus where three emergency hammers had been stored.

The specialised hammers can shatter glass with just a touch. The unit they are stored in makes a sound when the hammers are removed.

A second bus had been broken into and an attempt had been made to break the lock on the third bus, he said.

Despite the culprit having access to stereo equipment, fuel cards and TVs, nothing had been stolen apart from the hammer, he said.

Parker, who has owned the charter business about four years, said he was worried the hammers had been targeted for a criminal purpose. "It's not only what they've done to me, it's what they'll do with what they've stolen," he said.

He was looking at a cost of about $500 to replace the hammers and fix the locks.

"I want these guys to get a real job instead of upsetting and disrupting my life.

"I work hard for my money, and I've got to do a lot of driving to get that $500 back," he said.

On the same day, two houses in Blenheim were broken into.

An intruder smashed a lounge window of a Howick Rd house between 1.30pm and 4.30pm. The offender searched the house and stole a laptop computer and jewellery.

A few hours later, a house at Hutcheson St was broken into when the offender jemmied a window and ripped it off its hinges. The incident happened between 5.30pm and 7.10pm. It was not yet known if the offender went inside the house.

Senior Sergeant Peter Payne, of Blenheim, said police weren't concerned the stolen hammers would be used in burglaries or break-ins.

"Any hammer or rock would do the trick," he said.

The number of burglaries in Blenheim hadn't increased, although there had been a spike in burglaries in Picton in the past two months, he said.

"As a result of some good work by both Picton and Marlborough staff, the offenders for that spike have been arrested," he said.

They were charged with multiple offences including breaking into cars and burglary.

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- The Marlborough Express

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