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SAFE's Very Special Puppets Stolen

Wednesday 30 May 2001. Thieves have robbed the SAFE (Save Animals From Exploitation) 'Shooting Star' Puppet Show of some of it's star performers. The Puppets, which are used in the show to teach children the value of compassion, were stolen from a van in Westmere, Auckland on Tuesday 29 May.

"I am desperately hoping that the thieves will realise that these puppets are of great importance to us and return them. We've been performing the 'Shooting Star' since the beginning of the year and have had a great response from all our audiences, the kids seem to have an instant affinity towards the puppets." said Oliver Smart, the creator of the show.

The handcrafted puppets stolen, some of whom featured recently on '5.00 with Jude', were - Tama, a carved wooden boy; Olivia, a colourful cloth eel; Tangiaroha, a woven flax ruru; Roger, a rat with an eyepatch; and Buddy, the chimpanzee.

"All the puppets from the show are irreplaceable, they took many months of hard work to make and bring to life. Frankly I'm devastated but I do hold out hope that whoever stole them will do the right thing and return them." said Oliver Smart.

The puppets can be returned, no questions asked, to Westmere Primary School, cnr Larchwood Avenue and Garnet Road, Westmere, any police station, or the SAFE office (Level 2, T&G Building, Cnr. Wellesley and Elliot Streets, Auckland). SAFE or Oliver can be phoned on (09)309 7738 (SAFE) or (09)360 1788 (Oliver).

Contact Oliver Smart (SAFE Puppeteer) ph. (09)309 7738/021 1228590

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