Investigation stalls into digger vandals who destroyed brand new Auckland home

Mystery still surrounds who broke into a South Auckland construction site and tore down a brand new $675,000 home with a digger with police unable to make any breakthroughs.

They now say they have run out of leads in the case five months after workers arrived at the Flat Bush construction site to find vandals had sent a 20-tonne digger’s bucket smashing into the home’s roof and walls.

“Police have investigated this matter and unfortunately there are no further lines of inquiry presently available,” a police spokeswoman said.

“The matter has been filed however if police were to receive any more information this will be assessed and followed up if appropriate.”

The two-storey townhouse had been only weeks away from being handed over to its new owners when it was destroyed in June.

Developers DDL Homes estimated at the time the home’s rebuilding cost to likely be between $200,000 to $300,000.

The vandals also used a second, smaller digger to damage concrete foundations laid for a complex of 80 apartments also being built on the DDL Homes site.

Seven townhouses attached to the smashed home were not significantly damaged.

DDL Homes owner Baljit Dheil earlier told the Herald her team had been shocked by the vandalism.

“We … really don’t know why someone would do that,” she said.

“Even police were saying this morning, they’ve never had a case like this where someone came in and demolished a whole brand new house.”

GPS data from the diggers showed the vandals had been on the site for hours.

They started the first smaller digger just after 1am on June 11 and used it to “attack” and drive over the concrete foundations of the new 80 apartment complex, all of which had been pre-sold.

The damage meant the entire foundations would needed to be pulled up and relaid, Dheil said at the time.

The vandals next started the 20-tonne digger after 3am and tore apart the townhouse.

Due to be handed over to its buyers, everything had already gone into the home, including the kitchen and bathroom finishings. The workers were only waiting on carpet and flooring.

Dheil had been forced to call the home’s buyers to deliver the bad news.

They took it as philosophically as possible, saying “what has happened has happened”, she earlier said.

Police visited neighbours on the Saturday morning after the attack requesting CCTV footage from the home of at least one nearby resident.

However, the resident told the Herald no one had driven or walked past his cameras at the time of the crime.

He personally had also not heard any noise or disturbance from the construction site overnight Thursday.

The home damaged by the digger was part of a new DDL Homes development site and was not located close to other homes in the neighbourhood with residents already living in them.

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