Holiday spoiled as thieves clean out tools

MICHELE ONG
Last updated 05:00 11/01/2014
Jase Rowe of New Plymouth
CHARLOTTE CURD/Fairfax NZ
CLEANED OUT: Jase Rowe of New Plymouth, returned from his holiday to discover burglars had broken into his van and pilfered about $8000 worth of tools.

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A New Plymouth builder was left seething with anger after thieves stole $8000 worth of tools when he was away on holiday.

Jase Rowe returned from a week-long holiday with his family only to find his work van had been emptied of its contents.

Mr Rowe's incident adds to the 80 other vehicle break-ins to hit the Taranaki region in the past six weeks, with Westown recording near to 30 cases.

Mr Rowe had parked his van on his front lawn, which was something he usually does without any problems.

He noticed the van's door was a "little bit ajar" when he was backing it out of the driveway on Thursday night for a trip to the cinema.

Mr Rowe immediately noticed two of his red plastic handboxes were missing and when he checked his two large galvanised toolboxes, they had been cleaned out.

"I thought: oh no," he said.

He said he was "sad and angry" about the theft.

He has had to postpone a job, setting him back $1500 in earnings, and the insurance excess has cost Mr Rowe $1000.

Some of the tools were also irreplaceable as they were handed down from his grandfather.

"It's a bit of a downer after such a good holiday too," Mr Rowe said.

He had checked with neighbours to see if they had seen anything suspicious.

"One of them was on holiday and I asked a few others but they didn't see anything," Mr Rowe said, who has also lodged a police report.

Senior Sergeant Thomas McIntyre urges people who notice suspicious activities such as people loitering around cars and walking down the streets trying door handles to call the police.

Contact New Plymouth police on 06 759 5500 or CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111 if you have information on any of the break-ins.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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