The Operation Valour team investigating the burglary of the Army Museum at Waiouru in the early hours of Sunday morning the 2nd of December are moving their enquiry base.
Detective Senior Sergeant Chris Bensemann. the head of the investigation, said that Police were closing down the enquiry base in the Waiouru Military Camp where they had been since the morning of the burglary and are moving to the Taumarunui Police Station. He said that general enquiries in the Waiouru area had been largely completed and any that remained could be dealt with efficiently by working out of Taumarunui.
Though a number of the enquiry team would be travelling home for the Christmas break today, a team would work through the holiday period on the investigation. The Detective Senior Sergeant said that, though it was disappointing that we had not yet reached a successful conclusion to the enquiry and the stolen medals had not yet been recovered, the enquiry team remained positive and focussed on the goal of recovering the medal sets and apprehending the offender/s for the offence.
"Somebody out there knows were the medals are and who committed the burglary. They should come forward and contact the enquiry team with that information."
Detective Senior Sergeant Bensemann said that he would like to acknowledge publicly the excellent cooperation and support the enquiry team has received from the Army.
"They housed the enquiry base as well as accommodating and feeding the team. Nothing we asked for was too much trouble. It made the enquiry, away from our home stations, so much more manageable. Some of us are going to have to do some exercise over the next few weeks to work off the Army food," he said.
"The cooperation and assistance provided by the Director and Staff of the Army Museum was also excellent and greatly appreciated."
He also thanked the community of Waiouru for their hospitality and co-operation.
Detective Senior Sergeant Bensemann said that he would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank the members of the enquiry team for their efforts.
"Some of the team have returned home because of personal or professional commitments," he said. "The Police Officers and support staff who deployed to Waiouru at very short notice from their home stations, at what is always a busy time of the year, are to be congratulated on their commitment, energy and the excellent work they have done over the three weeks of this enquiry to date. It is a privilege to lead such a team," he said.
The 0800-OPERATION VALOUR information line will continue to be monitored and the email contact via the Police website will still be available to contact the enquiry team.