Part of the massive arsenal of weapons and ammunition stolen from a private home in Bucklands Beach has turned up in the hands of Northland criminals.
In June last year we wrote about how the cache went missing on the eve of the anti-gun initiative “Operation Unification” an Australasian-wide two-week campaign aimed at encouraging the public to report those who hold firearms illegally.
The house from where the cache was ‘taken’ was metres away from Bucklands Beach Primary school.
Why exactly did a suburban home in Bucklands Beach need a massive gun cache and 5,000 rounds of ammunition? and why did it all get taken just as Operation Unification started?
Here’s a list of what was stolen. Bear in mind this was from a house on a densely populated, suburban street in an upmarket neighborhood popular with migrants.
“Caesar Guerini” (brand)
• 1 x Forum 12 gauge field gun
• 1 x Forum 12 gauge sporter impact
• 1 x Elipse Evo 20 gauge field gun and another 28 gauge barrel
• 4 x semi automatic shotguns
• “Browning” (brand)
• 2 x 12 gauge, 2 shot semi automatic (1966)• 1 x Berretta .22 rifle semi automatic (1966)
• 1 x Browning 20 gauge semi automatic 5 shot shotgun
• 1 x Winchester Martini Actim .22 collection gun
• 1 x Remington 30/30 lever action collectors gun
• 1 x Remington 1187 Camo 12 gauge semi automatic shotgun
• 1 x Parkerdale Safari 30-06 rifle
The suspects also took 5000 rounds of shotgun ammunition, and left behind a crow-bar and trolley jack. A police spokeswoman said the owner of the guns and property had all the right firearms licences and security mechanisms — including safe storage — in his home. “Everything that should have been in place, was in place. The firearms were legally within that property…”
An intelligence report, “Firearms and Organised Crime: Illicit Supply, Possession and Use“, has been obtained by the media under the Official Information Act. It shows a change in Kiwi criminals’ attitude to carrying arms. Apparently, they’re more tooled-up today with heavy weaponry than they’ve ever been.
Underworld figures are now packing machineguns in what has been identified as a “culture” shift toward heavier arming among criminals, an intelligence report warns…
The 2014 report… notes about 14 per cent of guns on New Zealand’s organised crime scene now are military-style semi-automatic guns and there have been “varied” reports of fully automatic weapons – assault rifles, submachine and machineguns…
Former police officers who had worked closely with gangs say they were told of “crooked” dealers who turned a blind eye to whom they sold to. The big guns were kept under lock and key in storage units, one source said.
The others said police would find drugs and guns in “safe houses” – usually gang pads’ neighbours who had been leaned on to hold the goods.
While he had seen stolen semi-automatic guns during raids, the police source said gangs peddled tales of what guns they had and how big they were in order to intimidate one another…
Perhaps one way to remove these deadly weapons from circulation would be to have more stringent controls on their ownership? Banning massive arsenals from domestic property would be a great start.
But the problem is guns aren’t licensed in New Zealand, only their owners are licensed. In truth, no-one knows who owns what, how much, where and most importantly…Why.