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Man goes from flames to hot water following Hamilton fire

Man goes from flames to hot water following Hamilton fire
[photos at www.police.govt.nz/news/release/man-goes-flames-hot-water-following-hamilton-fire]

Friday, 2 May 2014 - 12:59pm

Waikato

A man whose sleep-out was damaged in a small electrical fire in Nawton found himself leaping from the flames into hot water yesterday after Hamilton Police began seeking answers as to why large amounts of cannabis and property were found in the room.

Detective Sergeant Neville Ross of the Waikato Tactical Crime Unit said it appears an LPG cylinder in the sleep-out had been leaking and a spark, possibly from an electrical device, had ignited the gas.

"But after the Fire Service had extinguished the blaze and the smoke cleared it became apparent the occupant's bedroom wasn't the only hot property at the address.

"Secreted in various locations in the sleep-out was an illegally obtained Ruger semi-automatic rifle, various items of jewellery including rings and necklaces found hidden in a radio, various cameras, electronics, stereo equipment, a projector unit and a set of mag wheels and tyres."

Mr Ross said among other items recovered were utensils allegedly used for consuming cannabis and methamphetamine and about 1186gms of cannabis.

"At this point in time Police would like to hear from anyone who recognises any of the jewellery in the photos and if you think it is yours, please contact the Tactical Crime Unit via the Hamilton Central Police Station on 07 858 6200.

"Enquiries are ongoing in relation to identifying the owners of the other recovered items. Police are particularly interested in establishing how the unlicensed man managed to obtain the rifle and where it originated from."

Mr Ross said working to identify the rightful owners of all the property recovered was quite a time consuming task which could be made all the easier if owners photographed their valuables and recorded serial numbers on data bases such as Operation SNAP (www.snap.org.nz).

"By doing this it allows Police to trace the original owners within minutes and it makes your property less attractive to burglars to steal and try to on-sell for drugs or other goods."

A 41-year-old man will be appearing in the Hamilton District Court today on charges of possession of cannabis for supply, possession of cannabis and methamphetamine utensils and unlawful possession of a firearm.

Enquiries into the origins of the other items recovered are continuing and further charges are possible.

End

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