Thames teen sparks AOS callout

JENNA LYNCH
Last updated 14:56 27/11/2013

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Police are cracking down on gun safety after a 16-year-old Thames boy blew a hole through a wall of his house with a rifle. 

The bullet from the .303 rifle shot through his wall, then blasted through the neighbours window and up through their roof. 

"The neighbour's were home at the time and heard a bang but didn't know where it came from, it was only when they noticed the holes the next day that they realised something was amiss,'' Thames Public Safety Team supervisor, Sergeant Jared Thompson, said. 

The incident sparked a Waikato Armed Offenders Squad callout. 

"As it happened the Currie St incident was close to where a burglary had happened over the weekend in which four unsecured firearms, including a .303 rifle were taken."

Mr Thompson said this was a timely reminder that gun owners must be vigilant in keeping their firearms locked up. 

"While we were very fortunate no-one was hurt in this incident the event highlights the other issue around firearms, that owners are often to lax when it comes to security. In this case the stolen firearms and ammunition were not secured and unfortunately, this is not an isolated case."

The 16-year-old was to appear in the Hamilton Youth Court today and was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition, reckless discharge of a firearm and receiving stolen property.

Firearms are becoming hot property in burglaries according to police, with several being swiped in burglaries throughout the Waikato in the past three weeks - with some even passing up on a big screen TV in favour of a gun.

 "In several but not all cases, the manner in which the firearms had been secured left a lot to be desired and firearms owners need to realise that when firearms are taken Police do look in to the circumstances of how offenders gained access to them and if an owner is deemed to have been negligent, firearms licence revocation is a consideration," Mr Thompson said.

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- Waikato

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