Arrest little comfort to museum owner
By BELINDA FEEK – Waikato Times
Last updated 13:00 14/07/2010
The arrest of a Hamilton man allegedly responsible for raiding the Tauwhare Military Museum has brought little comfort to its owner.
The 33-year-old was arrested late last month after a World War II-vintage United States bayonet, a replica Glock pistol and holster and a pair of gaiters were stolen from Andy Moreland’s military museum in April.
The theft came just days after an Anzac Day theft at the Raglan and District Museum where prized Nazi war relics were stolen, including a distinctive flag.
Sergeant Neil Fenwick of Hamilton East police said the man faced nine theft charges and one charge of aggravated assault. None of the museum’s stolen property has been recovered.
The arrested man appeared in Hamilton District Court yesterday and is due to be sentenced next week. The man has denied involvement in the Raglan theft.
Museum owner Andy Moreland said he had not only increased security since the thefts but also lost his trust in people.
“My problem was I’m from the old school, and I trusted every bugger. I like to think I’m trusting and like to think that everyone’s the same but evidently they’re not.”
He said the theft had also greatly affected his 15-year-old grandson who used the stolen items.
“He’s quite paranoid about everything and doesn’t trust anyone. He was a bit like me and trusted everyone too.”
Mr Moreland has now locked away any unsecured or items which could have been picked up.