Burglary a grim welcome to life in Hamilton
Move to NZ one week, robbed the nextMIKE MATHER
There's a popular saying in Sheffield: "It's grim up north."
But for the Richards family, who have just relocated to Hamilton from the English city, life in the Waikato is proving grimmer, after their house was burgled just a week after they moved in.
They are facing hefty bills to replace uninsured computer equipment taken in the break-in.
"We have been in New Zealand two weeks. The first week we were living in a hotel and we had only moved into this house a week ago - and this happens," mum Dawn Richards said. "We came here for a better standard of living. It was looking pretty good - my husband Carl has a job up at the university - but this has put a real dampener on the whole thing."
Among the items taken were two laptop computers, a specialised computer mouse used for games, a television, two cameras and an MP3 player belonging to the couple's teenaged children, Bernie, 14, and Adam, 13.
The family admitted they had been "caught on the hop" and had yet to organise insurance when the burglary happened on Saturday morning.
"We have been really foolish, but there was so much for us to do. We were actually in town getting a bank account set up when it happened.
"We have since been told the house has been targeted before by burglars, so it was possibly the same ones.
"There are a lot of bushes out the front of the house where burglars can hide. We are talking to the landlord about getting those removed."
Latest police crime statistics show there were 309 burglaries in Hamilton and 549 across the Waikato last month, compared with 335 in and 562 respectively in June last year.