Youths pour milk over woman's belongings
A Woodville woman feels unsafe in her own home after it was burgled and trashed by youths.
The woman, who wished only to be known as Margaret and who lives with her 11-year-old son Philip, said she came home on Sunday after a day out to find the garage door open.
"I felt a sense of dread, just a horrible feeling and walked in and saw the mess and damage."
Thieves had broken in through a partly open window. Days before she had bought a window security stay that she had yet to install.
A laptop was among the items taken. But many of the usual target items for burglars - television, Xbox, DVD player and tape player - had been left, but were drenched in milk.
Yoghurt was smeared about the place and a bottle of lemonade had also been poured out.
In both Margaret and her son's bedrooms, their drawers had been up-ended onto the floor, and milk poured on her bed and clothes.
Margaret is an artist and knives had been stuck through some of her canvases.
She also believed the youths injured their 6-month-old kitten, which she found the next day with a cut down its back, requiring stitches.
The pair returned on Monday morning to find a young man standing in the house, wearing Philip's clothing.
They kept the youth in the house while police were called, and he did not try to get away, she said.
He was among three people, aged 12, 14 and 17, who were subsequently arrested for the burglary of Margaret's home and DJ's dairy, where lollies and ice blocks were taken on Sunday night.
The burglary had a huge effect on her emotionally, Margaret said.
"I just can't sleep there at the moment."
Neighbours had offered to help her clean up, but she had been told by her insurance company someone would be around today to do it.
Margaret said she had not been that surprised it was young people who had committed the crime.
She hoped their punishment was strict.
"I would hate to have anything like this happening again, or happening to anyone else."
Pahiatua police Constable Brad Hall said 90 per cent of the property stolen, including Margaret's laptop, had been recovered.
Two of the boys had been referred to Youth Aid and the 17-year-old is due to appear in the Palmerston North District Court on Thursday.