Burglar strikes Waikato homeowner with wooden knife block during break-in

Police are investigating the aggravated burglary of a Matamata home on Monday morning.
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Police are investigating the aggravated burglary of a Matamata home on Monday morning.

Burglars whacked a Waikato homeowner unconscious with a wooden knife block during a early morning break-in. 

Police are still searching for the crooks responsible for the assault at the home of a middle-aged Matamata couple overnight on Monday.

The incident has also prompted police to warn people to lock their doors and windows during hot and humid summer nights. 

"Make sure your doors are locked and your windows are closed - we know it's difficult in this weather, but potentially there are people out there who intend to do you harm," said Senior Sergeant Stephen Ambler, the Eastern Waikato police manager of criminal investigations.

READ MORE: Sleeping Hamilton woman wakes to burglar sliding laptop from her arms

The couple, who had recently moved into the home in an urban area of the Matamata township, were sleeping about 2am when the burglars skulked in. 

A garage door, where the couple had been unpacking possessions from boxes after recently moving in, had been left open, Ambler said.

What the burglars didn't expect to find was the couple's sleeping labrador. 

"The dog's growling woke its owners and also probably deterred the offenders, who were only there a short time before the owner came out [to the garage to investigate].

"There's a lot to be said for having a dog for security."

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One of the culprits then grabbed a nearby wooden knife block, which Ambler said had just been unpacked by the occupants, and slammed it into the homeowner's head. 

"He was knocked unconscious we believe, only momentarily, and he then went back to his bedroom and woke his wife up to explain what had happened.

"We believe there were two assailants and they had then fled the scene before police arrived."

Instead of calling police immediately, the couple decided to try to track the burglars down themselves. 

Unfortunately, they searched the surrounding neighbourhood before calling police, Ambler said. 

"They weren't sure exactly what they should do, but the first port of call is to call 111.

"It took them about 15 minutes, as they left the address to see if they could find out where the offender had gone. My advice is to call police in the first instance."

It didn't appear the burglars had managed to take anything from the house, which was located down a right-of-way driveway. 

Police had a vague description of the pair and were "following positive lines of inquiry" on their identities.

"This is a one-off incident motivated by theft."

Anyone with information can call Morrinsville police on 07 889 5071.

 - Stuff

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