Women admit rental home clean-outs

Police want $58,000 reparations from two women involved in stripping household gear from Christchurch rental properties that had been booked online.

One of the women, 36-year-old Terangimarie O-Te-Arohuni Jury, bit the police officer who finally caught up with her at the scene of a two-night rental property that had been cleaned out in Head Street, Sumner.

The two admitted a series of charges at the Christchurch District Court today and have been remanded for sentencing on May 15.

Samadhi Kalita Lucas, 31, remains in custody after both women admitted two burglary charges and five charges of receiving property stolen from the rentals. Jury also admitted assaulting the officer.

Judge Paul Kellar ordered pre-sentence reports on both women and an assessment for home detention suitability for Jury, who is on electronically monitored bail.

Lucas has been in custody on remand and remains in custody for sentencing. Defence counsel David Stringer said it was hoped she might have effectively served her jail sentence by the time of her sentencing.

Crown prosecutor Deirdre Elsmore said all the properties involved were furnished short-term rentals managed by property management companies. They were booked through the Booking.com or Bookabach websites. Both websites allow prospective tenants to view photographs of properties and make bookings.

The common practice is to have a combination lock box installed which contains a key to the property. Once a booking has been paid, the tenant is given the combination to get the key.

The women admitted receiving property stolen from a house in Clarence Street, Riccarton, which lost household items and a barbecue.

Lucas admitted burglary for taking household items worth more than $1000 from a property booked in Charlesworth Street, Woolston, in May 2018.

A few weeks later, Jury and others cleaned out property worth $32,000 from a rental in Huntsbury. Items worth $3479 were found at Lucas’ address.

A large amount of furniture and whiteware was removed from a rental in Picton Avenue, Riccarton, between May 22 and 26, 2018. Items were found at both women’s addresses.

A few days later, a large amount of furniture, whiteware, kitchen utensils, and personal items were taken from properties in Barbadoes Street and Queens Avenue, Fendalton.  Items were found at both women’s houses.

In June, an unknown person rented a property in Head Street, Sumner, before Jury and Lucas removed furniture, pictures, and bedding. The total value was $24,000 and $1140 worth of it was found at Lucas’ address.

While police were inside the house, the women drove up in a car. Lucas stayed in the car while Jury went into the property. While she was moving a couch on the porch, a detective walked up behind her, put his hand on her shoulder and told her she was under arrest.

Jury tried to flee and the detective grabbed her around the neck and shoulder. The struggled spilled into the front yard where she bit his arm. She was yelling for help and trying to climb a fence. She was restrained when another officer arrived. The detective was left with abrasions and a bite mark which punctured the skin on his arm.

Jury also admitted receiving a stolen trailer and lawn mower that were found at her property.

The police want reparation of $44,484 from Jury, and $13,064 from Lucas.