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Gnomelessness surges after costume stolen in van theft

Flagstaff Team

Multiple North Shore events were left gnomeless last weekend after a sponsor’s van was stolen from central Milford.
A costume for the Harcourts Cooper and Co mascot, ‘Homie the Gnomie’, was taken from the vehicle, which was later found in Forrest Hill.
That meant the gnome had to be a no-show at Saturday’s Shore to Shore fun run, where he has been a familiar face at the finish line and prizegiving, and other weekend events.
The company’s community van, which is used to transport gear such as gazebos, furniture and flags to events across the North Shore, was stolen from behind Anokla Restaurant on Dodson Ave around 5am on Tuesday 2 April.
CCTV footage showed a person with a slight build, dressed in black, taking the vehicle.
When it was found on Keldale Pl the following day, the gnome costume and a fuel card were gone.
Harcourts community relationship manager Nikki Revell said the theft was especially disappointing ahead of a weekend of events, including the fun run – the “last big one of the summer” – which attracted around 4000 competitors.
Revell said she and other staff were “shocked and disappointed” at the theft. “Especially given it’s a community service vehicle.”
With the community van having been damaged in the theft, Tristram European lent another vehicle for use during the weekend.
Revell said it was hard to understand what the culprit’s motivation was for taking the costume. She was hopeful it would be returned to the agency so Homie could resume his usual activities.
Police said they were investigating the van theft.

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