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Home arrow Human Interest arrow Local arrow Footprint and knife clues to late night sheep rustlers
Footprint and knife clues to late night sheep rustlers PDF Print E-mail
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Human Interest - Local
Written by Mike Barrington, The Northern Advocate   
Monday, 13 July 2009

Fritz Gratz found the skins and offal of two of his missing sheep. Picture/Chris Rudsdale

When Fritz Gratz looked for three sheep missing from his lifestyle block near Ngunguru he found the remains of two of them slaughtered in a paddock.

The heads, guts and skins had been left behind by a rustler who made off with the two cleaned carcasses, possibly taking the third animal along to mow the lawns at home until there was room for it in the freezer.

A knife dropped in the grass near the skins and offal was carefully placed in a plastic bag by Mr Gratz, who was hoping it could contain fingerprints which would help police identify the culprit.

He also found a footprint on the drive to his home and suspects a barefooted person may have been keeping watch to make sure he didn't leave the house and surprise the rustler butchering the sheep overnight on Wednesday or early on Thursday.

Mr Gratz moved to New Zealand from Austria about 20 years ago and has been living on his 21ha Ngunguru Rd property for six years.

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