Offender caught on security cam admits burglary

A woman caught on a household security camera “scoping” a property ahead of two burglaries has admitted nine offences at the Christchurch District Court.

Amanda Cherie Cook, 44 and unemployed, admitted two charges of being unlawfully in an enclosed yard, burglary, receiving stolen property, four thefts including two petrol drive-offs, and breach of her bail.

Defence counsel Glenda Murphy said Cook had been on bail but was arrested yesterday and spent the night in the police cells after reporting late on bail.

Police did not oppose her release on bail again today, and Judge Tom Gilbert remanded her for sentencing on November 16. He asked for a pre-sentence report and referred the case for a possible restorative justice meeting between Cook and her victims.

About 11.30am on May 31, Cook entered a house in Waipara Street, Cracroft. She opened the gates and walked up the drive before trying door handles. She was unable to get inside. Her visit was captured on the house’s security cameras.

About 1pm on May 31, she went into the rear yard of a property in Somerville Crescent in Aidanfield. Her visit was again captured on the household’s security camera.

Later that day, the house was burgled, and electronic items, credit cards, $4000 cash, makeup, and jewellery was taken. Some of the items have been recovered and Cook has been charged with receiving stolen property from that burglary.

During the day on June 2, Cook returned to the Somerville Crescent property, while the householders were out. Again, her visit was recorded on their security camera.

She forced open a side door to the garage and gained access to the garage and house.

She searched the whole house and took a bolt-action rifle with a scope, two laptop computers, jewellery and clothing. The property was valued at more than $8000.

Some of the property including the rifle scope was later found at Cook’s property, but the rifle has never been found.

When police asked her about the burglary and being unlawfully in the yard, she initially denied committing the offences but later conceded she may have committed them because she wasn’t in her right mind – but she wasn’t sure.

Police are asking for reparations for the property that is still missing, and they want to confiscate Cook’s car because it was used for the offending.

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