Hot property in singed sleep-out

Last updated 13:57 02/05/2014

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A man whose sleep-out was damaged in a small electrical fire found himself leaping from the flames into hot water yesterday.

Police at the scene in the Hamilton suburb of Nawton began questioning the man about large amounts of cannabis and other property allegedly in the room.

Detective Sergeant Neville Ross of the Waikato Tactical Crime Unit said it appeared as though an LPG cylinder in the sleep-out leaked and a spark, possibly from an electrical device, ignited the gas.

"But after the Fire Service had extinguished the blaze and the smoke cleared it became apparent the occupant's bedroom wasn't the only hot property at the address,'' Ross said.

Secreted in various locations in the sleep-out was an allegedly illegally-obtained Ruger semi-automatic rifle, various items of jewellery including rings and necklaces found hidden in a radio, various cameras, electronics, stereo equipment, a projector unit and a set of mag wheels and tyres, police said.

Police were now trying to find the owners of the property found.

Anyone who recognises any of the jewellery pictured should contact the Tactical Crime Unit at the Hamilton Central Police Station on 07 858 6200.

A 41-year-old man appeared in the Hamilton District Court yesterday on charges of possession of cannabis for supply, possession of cannabis and methamphetamine utensils and unlawful possession of a firearm.

Inquiries into the origins of the other items recovered are continuing and further charges are possible.

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