Tuesday, July 14, 2009

'One-man crime-wave' jailed

Further to our posting HERE, a fellow blogger has alerted us to a story about the consequences of the low-life that ripped off a hotel offering free accommodation during the Napier siege in the suburb of Napier Hill.

After fraudulently taking advantage of the state of emergency and generosity of others, Raniera Ropata Harris has been sentenced to three years' prison and ordered to pay $1000 reparation.

I have been told that several motels gave away accommodation after an overenthusiastic local motelier took it upon himself to appeal to fellow accommodation providers to donate rooms. In hindsight this may have been somewhat misguided as the "evacuees" were more than capable of looking after themselves and Civil Defence payments were available to meet the immediate needs of people who were required to leave their homes.

We have also been told that Harris was not the only low-life scum to use the unfolding tragedy to rip off
well intentioned accommodation providers.

The Dominion Post

A man who used Napier gunman Jan Molenaar's siege to rip off a hotel offering free accommodation for evacuees has being jailed for three years.

Raniera Ropata Harris, 19, admitted a string of charges including fraud, burglaries, trespass and carrying a knife.

Harris was near a police cordon around Molenaar's house during the first night of the May siege when he heard some residents discussing being sent to stay in hotels.

He and a friend gave a false address and registered with the Red Cross as evacuated residents. They were given a room for the night at the Tennyson Inn.

There, they met three associates.

At 2am, Harris went to the hotel reception area and bar, where he was filmed by security cameras as he stole a laptop computer, cellphone and charger, credit cards, chequebooks, keys and alcohol.

Harris has also admitted carrying a knife in public, trespassing at The Warehouse in Napier and stealing two cellphones from a Napier house.

In Napier District Court this morning, Judge Geoff Rea sentenced Harris to three years' prison and ordered him to pay $1000 reparations to his theft victims.

Judge Geoff Rea called Harris a "one-man crime wave" with no conscience and no scruples.

"You are 19 and I cannot recall anybody with a record like yours at your age," he said.

Since January 2008 Harris had been convicted 43 times.

Source: Click HERE

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