Garry Jackson outside his house on Princess St in Martinborough. PHOTO/JAKE BELESKI
Martinborough man Garry Jackson expected a quick response from police when he alerted them to the theft of eight guns from his house on Tuesday night
Instead, the former fire chief said he was told by National Police headquarters in Wellington that no staff would be able to get there until the following day.
The haul, taken from his wardrobe, included two shotguns, a .308 calibre rifle, and a recently purchased slug gun.
Mr Jackson has dedicated 49 years of his life to helping others as a volunteer firefighter, and said it was “pretty heart-breaking” to not get the immediate help he needed.
He could not believe the matter was not dealt with promptly, and said he is now “losing his faith” in the police.
“I thought if I told the police there were guns involved they would be here straight away, but this has just told me it’s all bullshit.
“I rang them back and said I was concerned for somebody in town . . . I said they’ve got guns that are able to be fired, and they haven’t got ammunition but that’s easy to get.”
Mr Jackson’s daughter lives in the house on Princess St with her children, and they all had left the property at about 5pm on Tuesday.
When they returned just before 7pm, they knew something was wrong.
Furniture had been moved, and the wardrobe in Mr Jackson’s room had been broken into.
The guns were stored in a gun safe at the back of the wardrobe, and that had also been smashed open.
Mr Jackson said the culprit must have known the guns were in the wardrobe, as nothing else had been taken as far as he was aware.
“They must have known they were there – you wouldn’t go into a person’s wardrobe unless you knew something was in there,” he said.
Mr Jackson rang police straight away, and was put through to the national centre, but was left frustrated with their inability to offer any form of help.
“I said to them on the phone that I’m a volunteer firefighter and have been for 49 years, and if someone rings up and says they have a fire, we don’t tell them we’re going to come tomorrow.
“We respond straight away, and I told them I was losing my faith in them.”
It is the second time the property has been broken into in the last six months, and last time Mr Jackson lost several tools from his shed, including chainsaws.
He said after that incident he had phoned police and was told to leave everything as it was so they could examine the scene and look for fingerprints, but there was only so much waiting he was prepared to do.
“By midday the next day they still hadn’t come, and I told them I had to go and get my car out and take somebody out for a ride, so they were wasting their time.
“I’ve had a raw deal right the way through to be honest.”
He also endured an incident where a boy staying at the house had his bike tyres completely slashed, and he was now looking at other ways to find answers.
“I’m just about prepared to give a $1000 reward just for information.
“They (police) are paid, and this is not a good service.”
A police media spokesperson said on Wednesday: “I can confirm a Scene of Crime Officer has been tasked to attend the address as soon as they are able — from the information available to me, I’m unable to confirm whether they have attended today or not.”