Rex and Fiona Wilson at their boarded-up shop, Gold n Gifts, with friend Jackie Lavell sweeping up the last of the broken glass. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Three youths aged 15 and 16 have been arrested after a ram raid in Paihia on Sunday night.
The offenders allegedly stole a builder’s ute from Te Ngaere, north of Matauri Bay, and used it to ram Gold n Gifts on Williams Rd in central Paihia.
The shop sells jewellery, watches and gifts and is owned by long-time volunteer fire chief Rex Wilson and his wife Fiona.
The shop’s security grille withstood the impact but the rear of the ute punched a hole just big enough for two offenders to clamber through.
It’s alleged they then stole a backpacker’s car from a nearby street and dumped the ute.
A police spokesperson said three people were taken into custody on Monday, and the stolen car and goods have been recovered.
Three youths had been charged in relation to the burglary with a 16-year-old and a 15-year-old due to appear in Whangarei Youth Court today.
A second 16-year-old had been referred to Youth Services.
Items from the backpacker’s car were dumped on a roadside in Paihia before the alleged offenders made their getaway.
The backpacker’s belongings were found by Rex Wilson on the night of the raid and returned to her the following day.
Wilson said high-end watches were taken in the burglary along with “an armful” of G-Shock watches.
The most valuable items were not left in the shop overnight and the raiders ignored most of the jewellery.
More details to come.