14 Sep 2015

Police fail to act on farm theft

2:00 pm on 14 September 2015

A Waikato farmer who had his quad bike stolen says he's gutted the police have done little about it.

Dairy farmer Philip Thomas, who had his four-wheeler stolen just metres from his milking shed

Dairy farmer Philip Thomas, who had his four-wheeler stolen just metres from his milking shed Photo: Kate Thomas

Philip and Kate Thomas are sharemilkers near Huntly in Waikato, and early on Friday morning while milking his cows, Philip heard and then saw thieves drive his four-wheeler away.

Mr Thomas said they must have been watching him to know he was alone, which had left him feeling un-nerved.

"Basically I was into about my second (or) third row milking when I heard a motorbike rev up and wondered what it was. I was halfway down the row and then I thought 'Who is that? What is that?'.

"Normally I would have probably just continued with the row but I just went, 'I'm just going to go and check'. So I stepped up outside of my herringbone shed to look out... and there they were: a dude on a two wheeler bike going out my gate first and then the guy on my motorbike, on my four-wheeler."

Mr Thomas said he recognised the youths immediately.

He said they had been seen in the area on Rotowaro Road and a nearby lake recently.

Despite giving the police specific details about where the bike could probably be found, he said they had done nothing and he had not heard from them since Saturday.

"It's just the fact they [police] had everything, you know you could have smelt the bike cooling down, that's how fresh they were on the trail. It wasn't a case that I'd rung them at 10 o'clock in the morning saying I woke up this morning and my bike was gone out of the shed and I don't know who, where or what direction it went. This is a case where... when they [police] came up my drive they shot back into town. For sure the guys would have had it hidden by then, but I mean, man it was fresh."

Mr Thomas said there had been an increase in burglaries in the wider Waikato region and stressed out farmers were becoming increasingly frustrated.

He said to farmers, a quad bike was more than just a means of getting around the farm.

"To me that's my work horse. It had a case on the front... and I rely on that everyday, all day. The opportunity for them to get that bike was with about an hour and a half of me milking, because otherwise my backside is on that seat pretty much permanently.

"That case... had antibiotics, anti-inflammatory stuff in case I had a calving difficulty, it had my calving rope."

The police have not responded to Radio New Zealand's calls.

* If rural theft is a rising problem in your area, get in touch with what your community is doing - you can email ruralnews@radionz.co.nz, we'd love to hear from you.