South Wairarapa Sergeant Richie Day, with some of the stolen property seized from a Fox St, Featherston, address. PHOTO/ HAYLEY GASTMEIER

HAYLEY GASTMEIER
hayley.gastmeier@age.co.nz

A Featherston property where police believe drugs were being sold was not fit for children to live in.

On Wednesday morning, a couple were arrested at a Fox St address when police raided it, finding a “house-load” of stolen property.

A pre-school-aged child at home at the time was referred to Oranga Tamariki, as were the other “young children” who also lived at the property, because police were concerned about their living environment.

South Wairarapa Sergeant Richie Day said it was of major concern that children were being raised around alleged criminal activity and in a filthy house.

“In my 17 years of policing, this is the most uninhabitable house I’ve ever been in.”

Photographs, personal documents and antique furniture were among items seized by police, which were believed to have been stolen from a Wairarapa storage unit.

Bail will be opposed for the man, who is facing charges of fraud, burglary, and possessing cannabis for supply.

The woman has been charged with possession of a restricted weapon and cannabis, as well as fraud.

Day said inquiries were ongoing, and it was likely more charges would be laid.

A search warrant had been executed on the property after concerns were raised via Crimestoppers.

Police believed drugs had been dealt from the house, with witnesses saying vehicles were always coming and going.

Day said he hoped the arrests would deter people who had been frequenting the property from returning to Featherston.

“A lot of information has been provided by the upstanding members of the public who don’t want drugs in their community because of the harm they cause.”

Police would now be working to establish where the significant haul of stolen property belonged.

“Some of the owners won’t even know their property has been taken.”

Day said it was obvious that much of the property inside the Featherston house had been stolen, with old chests and dressers filled with people’s personal papers.

Tools, electronics, and other household appliances were also confiscated.

Drug-dealing and stolen property went “hand-in-hand”, he said, and anyone with information about drugs in the community should call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.