Red-zone burglar 'desperate for money'

Last updated 11:05 19/02/2013

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A former project manager for an earthquake repair company has admitted carrying out 10 burglaries.

Police say that between January 7 and 14, Grant Michael Mills went to several different addresses in the red-zone area of Avondale while wearing high-visibility gear.

The properties were all vacant and are now owned by the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority.

He removed hot water cylinders and tapware items to recover the scrap copper and brass, which he traded for cash.

He wore a bright orange vest with a contracting company name on the front and back. At one address, a nearby resident asked about his authority, so he produced a business card which matched the name of the company on the vest he was wearing.

The police say $1444 reparation is being sought.

Mills told police the burglaries were a stupid mistake but he was desperate for money as he had lost his job as a project manager for an earthquake repair company.

In the Christchurch District Court today, Judge Tony Couch remanded Mills on bail to May 15 for sentencing.

He asked for a pre-sentence report and a home detention report but told Mills he was at serious risk of being jailed.

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