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Accused red-zone burglar to appear in court

Monday 28 Jan 2013 4:31 p.m.

By 3 News online staff

A man accused of stealing hot water cylinders from red-zoned homes in Christchurch will appear in the city’s district court tomorrow.

The 43-year-old man faces 10 charges of burglary relating to the removal of cylinders from homes in Avondale and Burwood between January 7 and January 14.

All of the houses were abandoned and under CERA ownership.

Police say they were alerted to the man's activities by a nearby resident who spotted suspicious behaviour.

"This alleged offender has gone to considerable lengths to try to conceal his activities," says Sergeant Dave Knowles of Papanui Police.

"This included wearing a high-visibility vest with the name of a contracting firm on it, and hanging black material over a window at one address to block the view from the street."

Police say the neighbour did the right thing in calling police, and have warned other Christchurch residents to be wary of people posing as contractors.

"Remember - a high-vis vest is no guarantee that a contractor is genuine. If people have any doubts they should not hesitate to ask questions, check with the company and if they remain suspicious - contact police as soon as possible,” says Sergeant Knowles.

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