Burglar pulls knife on couple

01:43, Jan 30 2013

A Matamata couple has nothing but praise for Matamata police after a burglary that could have turned fatal last week.

Just after 10pm on Thursday, Leith and Cheryl Shearman, who had just returned from a holiday in Melbourne, awoke when they heard their pet dog Murphy barking in the wash house.

"I thought he might be excited to see us so I got up to see what he was doing," Mr Shearman said.

"That's when I saw a shadow go past one of the windows. I then heard the sliding door close and could hear these guys talking."

Mr Shearman said he yelled at them to stop and two of them did. He held on to them before one broke free.

Mrs Shearman said she saw the third offender present a knife.

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"I yelled at Leith 'he has a knife'," she said.

Being a keen fisherman, Mr Shearman quickly identified the weapon as similar to a filleting knife.

"He was just yelling and swearing at me. I just ran," Mr Shearman said.

Within 30 seconds of the offenders fleeing the scene, Matamata police had arrived.

"We can't begin to tell you how wonderful the police were," Mrs Shearman said.

"The response time was just magnificent."

Visibly shaken, Mr Shearman said the situation could have turned very bad, very quickly.

"I thought about what happened to that man in Waihi, that could have been me."

Sergeant Graham McGurk said Mr Shearman did all the right things.

"Being confronted with a knife is an extremely frightening situation," he said.

"Allowing them to flee was the best thing to do."

About 4am on Friday, the three alleged offenders were located asleep in a public place.

Two 15-year-old males and a 17-year-old male were charged with aggravated burglary.

One was charged with aggravated assault with the intention to facilitate the flight of another upon the commission of a crime namely burglary.

Mr Shearman said it was reassuring to know that they've been caught.

"I don't know how I'd feel if they weren't.

"I don't know what happened. I just held onto them because I wanted them to get caught."

"We love our house, we will never let them take that away from us," Mrs Shearman said.

Mr and Mrs Shearman want to spread the message about the importance of home security.

"Lock your house up. We never thought this would happen to us, but it did."

Matamata Chronicle