'Opportunistic' burglary of red-zone house demolishes career

Last updated 05:00 20/05/2014

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A demolition contractor who stole a dishwasher from an abandoned red-zone property in Burwood has been convicted for his "opportunistic" crime.

Glenn Donald Goulter, of Waikuku Beach, appeared in the Christchurch District Court yesterday on a burglary charge.

The court was told that the digger driver took a dishwasher from an abandoned property in Queensbury St that was next door to one he was employed to demolish on May 13.

He was found in possession of the dishwasher with the help of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera).

Goulter's lawyer, Aliza Eveleigh, said it was "a dumb mistake . . . an opportunistic situation", which her client regretted.

He had "very limited funds" at the time and, as a result of his actions, had lost his job.

In court yesterday, Judge Kevin Glubb sentenced Goulter to 100 hours' community work.

"You were going to give [the dishwasher] to your lady friend. That was a big mistake," he said.

"These red zone properties are not to be entered by others."

A Cera spokesman said that it worked with police, contractors and communities in and near the red zone to identify criminal or suspicious behaviour.

It had 24-hour security patrols and used several electronic surveillance tools, which had led to several other arrests and convictions in the past.

"In this instance, Cera alerted police to what appeared to be the burglary of a red zone property.

"Instances of contractors committing crimes while working in the red zone are rare," the spokesman said.

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- The Press

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