Check out THIS story on a gun theft.
An absolute ball drop by Police and the Courts.
We really should hold an end of year award ceremony for our worst Judges….
A Steve Dallinger had 11 firearms stolen from his locked safe – valued at more than $20,000. They remain in the wrong hands.
It turns out that the thief was his step daughter, Rhiannon Downard. She was sentenced at Whakatane District Court on June 14, 2017.
She pleaded guilty to burglary over $5000 which carried a maximum sentence of 10-years imprisonment.
As a first offender, she was sentenced to 150 hours of community work.
Read that again. For the premeditated theft of eleven guns, at that value, on-sold to criminals to threaten all of us.
She was also ordered to pay reparation of $25 a week for five years, totaling $6000.
When the victim discovered the theft he immediately phoned and visited the Murupara Police Station to report the missing guns.
From The Beacon:
At that stage, he was aware of who took the firearms and had with him names of those who were at the home and physical evidence.
For the next year, he visited and called the Murupara and Rotorua police stations on numerous occasions for updates on his case.
He continually found himself asking, “what is happening with this case?”
Downard was arrested in February this year, eight-months after the offending. When she appeared at the Rotorua District Court she pleaded not guilty to the charge of entering a dwelling.
In April, she pleaded guilty to theft at the Whakatane District Court and declined restorative justice.
She was remanded on bail until June 14, when she was sentenced, nearly a year after the firearms were stolen.
Downard maintains she disposed of the firearms in an alleyway, but Mr Dallinger believes the firearms were sold.
The victim has filed a complaint against police through the Independent Police Conduct Authority as he believes there was no urgency with the investigation of his case.
“There were many no responses. Police never communicated with me. I made the contact every time, except once, when I pushed I was going to make this case public.”
Mr Dallinger said he contacted the police more than 10 times before sharing his frustrations with MPs Anne Tolley and Todd McClay.
Throughout the investigation, he said he offered many forms of evidence to police that could have recovered his firearms, including Downard’s location when the theft was reported and in subsequent weeks, and phone records.
He believes none were followed up.
“Police have consistently failed to follow up on a serious offence that could put lives in this area at risk. We provided enough information shortly after the guns were stolen.
“The delays in following up on this matter with any urgency from the start and the disconnection and lack of communication between various police regions have allowed matters to drift out of control and make it less likely that the guns will be found and thieves prosecuted,” Mr Dallinger said in his complaint.
It took police four weeks before contact was made with Downard, by then she had returned to Tokoroa where she was living.
“Police did check Rhiannon’s phone and we had evidence of her bartering for more money for the sale of a gun.”
He wondered how police prosecution could accept Downard disposed of the guns and believed they were after “a quick result”.
The Police response?
According to Arms Act service delivery group Acting Superintendent Mike McIlraith firearms owners can consider creating and storing an asset list of property serial numbers at http://www.snap.org.nz, or any manual process that may help with an investigation.
He said firearms’ owners needed to ensure they adhered to the secure storage conditions relevant to their licence and in accordance with Regulation 19 of the Arms Regulations 1992.
“This requires the licence holder to take responsible steps to ensure that any firearm in the holder’s possession is secured against theft.
“Failure to comply with the security conditions may result in the person considered no longer fit and proper to have a firearms licence and may result in the person’s licence being revoked.”
Mr McIllraith said police and members of the Firearms Community Advisory Forum established a sub-committee to ensure firearms standards were “fit for purpose”.
“[The group] have become concerned about the inconsistent and in some cases inadequate methods to secure firearms.”The sub-committee would review, inform and develop policy to guide security requirements.
Thats it? The guns were locked away in a safe. In accordance with the law.
It will be interesting to see who is REALLY on the ‘sub-committee’ after recent Police deception. Likely a police dog and a friend from doggy day care.
The Kiwi Gun Blog called Haylee to congratulate on actually asking the right questions.
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