A bizarre string of pet thefts continues to plague Palmerston North, with the latest caper involving a pair of guinea pigs and their hutch being snatched from the front yard of an Awapuni home.
The guinea pigs and hutch were owned by Massey University veterinary student Lauren Allen, 23, who was in Auckland on Wednesday when her boyfriend rang with the bad news.
"I was devastated, I just burst into tears," she said.
"I couldn't even go down and start looking for them. It's been really horrible just not knowing where they are."
The theft was the latest in a spate of unusual pet thefts in the city.
In May, a rabbit was taken from a Roslyn house, before being found dumped on a nearby front lawn.
The Barnados Early Learning Centre in Kipling St was also hit by thieves, who took two rabbits and a hutch in February and March.
Since she bought the guinea pigs two years ago, Miss Allen had been nervous about leaving them in the front yard of her Nottingham Ave home because of drunken students.
But she was surprised it happened midweek, either on Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning.
The thieves carted away the two-storey hutch, which would have required two people to lift, she said. She has made fliers for throughout the Palmerston North area and hoped someone would come forward with information.
"I'm not allowed any other pets at the flat. I bought them as my little companions," she said. "They're really cute. Every morning I get up and they whistle to be fed."
The guinea pigs are named Trudy and Momo. One is black and ginger and the other white and brown.
The hutch cost $300, which Miss Allen said was a lot for a student to lose.
She had informed police and the SPCA.
Senior Sergeant Brett Calkin said it was unusual for pets to be taken, but it did happen occasionally and people should report the thefts to police.
"They're easy targets and often people wouldn't report it to us," he said.
He said in cases where a pattern developed in an area, police could put more resources into investigating.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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