Two held after vehicle thefts, fires

MEGAN MILLER
Last updated 05:00 29/01/2013
Burnt bus
SARAH LAWSON/Fairfax NZ
WORSE FOR WEAR: A house bus, stolen from a Timaru holiday park, was dumped at the Pareora River and set alight.

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Two Timaru men are due to appear in the Timaru District Court this morning in relation to the theft and arson of a motorhome and four wheel drive in Timaru in recent days.

The two, aged 20 and 22, are also charged with the unlawful taking a caravan and a number of four wheel drive vehicles, as well as arson and driving offences.

The pair are jointly charged in relation to 14 offences, while they separately face a handful of other charges.

The men, aged 22 and 23, were arrested on Monday afternoon while driving near Richard Pearse Airport, according to Timaru police Senior Sergeant Randel Tikitiki. They tried to flee from police but were apprehended after a brief chase.

The Subaru they were driving was believed to be recently stolen, he said. Its registration plates had been changed.

Police were on the lookout for the men after inquiries into the theft and burning of a house bus, taken from Glenmark Holiday Park on Saturday.

The bus was stolen about 5am and set alight at the Pareora River before 8.40am.

Timaru fire safety officer Kevin Collins said he had investigated the cause of the bus fire after a request from the operational fire crew.

Special investigations were not typically required for vehicle fires, he said, but "some information came to light in talking with some people who found the bus or saw the bus prior to the fire".

The value of the vehicle was also a factor, he said.

Police also believe the two men were connected with the blaze that destroyed a Nissan Terrano found along George Ward Rd early yesterday.

Firefighters were called to the scene, near Fairview Rd, at about 5.40am. The fire spread from the burning vehicle to ignite surrounding long grass and scrub.

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- The Timaru Herald

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