Burglars targeting rest homes
Police are searching for two young men they believe are responsible for a spate of thefts from the elderly.
It is suspected the pair have stolen thousands of dollars worth of cash and electronic equipment from at least seven rest homes in Oamaru, Dunedin, Invercargill and Cromwell since May 15.
They may have committed crimes further north, Christchurch police said.
"These people could be transient and living anywhere," Detective Sergeant Stu Harvey said.
The thieves spoke to rest home staff and made up stories about why they were there, he said.
"[It appears they are] reasonably experienced in this sort of stuff and there's a bit of subterfuge involved," he said.
"Normally they are trying to find a friend or they are looking for somebody."
Harvey said he had never dealt with a similar case.
"All burglaries and thefts are serious, but the people they are targeting are quite vulnerable," he said.
Police have released closed-circuit television footage of the pair.
One man was described as a Maori, about 20, of a tidy appearance. He was on crutches and wearing a moon boot, but police were unsure whether he had suffered a genuine injury.
The second suspect was described as a Maori, about 18, with short hair.
The thefts and burglaries occurred at Osborne House Rest Home, Fulton Home, Iona Home, Dunstan Hospital,
Ripponburn Hospital and Home, Cargill Rest Home and Rowena Jackson Rest Home.
Anyone with information should contact their local police station or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.