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Through the Portal

Thievery on the streets of Whitianga

There is thievery in Whitianga; thievery most foul. Most foul because it is a direct attack on the ability of our older community members to enjoy their weekend working on and completing the various puzzles delivered every Saturday to NZ Herald subscribers in the Canvas magazine.
 |  Trevor Ammundsen  | 

The Weekend Herald without its Canvas magazine – who is the intrepid thief?

The Canvas magazine provides the reader with Sudoku, Code Crackers, Crosswords and various other delights.

This thief, or thieves, make their move under the cover of darkness; steal our Canvas magazine and shove the rest of the paper back into the letterbox in an untidy fashion that makes it obvious this illegal action took place after the paper was delivered.

We have had enough of this thievery and feel we must do something about it.

Our first move was to narrow down the pool of suspects. The thief is obviously keen on playing number and/or word games. In school terms this means mathematics and English, so school students are immediately ruled out because they can’t do this stuff. Teachers are also ruled out for the same reason.

Our second move was to narrow down the time of the crime, to help the police with any stake out.

By setting the alarm at 15 minute intervals so that I could send the wife out to the letterbox at a defined time over a number of weeks, we have been able to note the consistent time of disappearance. We now know if the wife is on top of her game we get to keep the Canvas but if she is a bit slothful, it is lost.

Further analysis leads us to believe the miscreant is an elderly dog lover. Why a dog lover you ask? Because most people wandering around at that hour are dog lovers.

Another reason is that there is an unwritten code amongst dog lovers where if one of them is doing something suspicious, all other dog lovers look away. The reason is obvious, most suspicious activities involving dog lovers are just giving a pretence of picking up doggie droppings while really ignoring them. No point in dirtying a perfectly good plastic bag. Not many people know of this rule because dog lovers will deny its existence, but if you take the time to observe them, you will see this is true.

It is therefore relatively straight forward for an elderly dog lover to start pilfering our letterbox as every witness in the vicinity will immediately look in another direction. Once the theft has been completed, the innocent dog lovers will even wish the thief “Good Morning” as they pass by.

The Police seem to be reluctant to hold a stake out, muttering about the lack of seriousness of the crime. I have argued with them; asked them to observe my wife being forced to do housework because her puzzles are not there before they claim the effects of the crime are not serious. They didn’t even write that bit of evidence on the complaint form. The Sargeant told us they needed a few more clues as to the identity of the thief before they could hold a stake out; an activity which could potentially evolve into a high speed chase as the try to run down a speedy Chihuahua with thieving owner in tow. Apparently they are not allowed to use spikes on Chihuahuas so the chances of escape are quite high. Therefore an ID is preferable.

Our next move is therefore to identify the thie,f so to that end we are installing some stealth cameras. One will be hidden in a well-placed pohutukawa, probably the only well-placed pohutukawa in town, and another in the neighbours feijoa tree. Between the two of them we are sure we will get the evidence we need to enable the full force of the law to be hurled at this local crime wave.