© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2021

Gargoyle pinched from St. Martins Property

Charlotte Thieme

The owners have appealed to the public to be on the look-out for "Julian" the gargoyle.

A St. Martins couple is baffled, following the theft of their Gargoyle statue valued at $250.

Jean and Fraser Aitken had owned the gargoyle, affectionately dubbed 'Julian', for 12 months before their time with him was cut short.

Julian was stolen overnight on the June 10 from the backyard of their new post-quake build.

Julian, along with the plinth he was glued to, was said to be in excess of 50kgs, requiring at least two people to lift him. However, Fraser Aitken said only one set of footprints was discovered on the property.

The detective in charge of the case, Karen Simmons of the Canterbury Police, said that this was a "highly unusual" case, as there were no other disturbances to the Aitkens' home.

"The gargoyle was the only thing stolen from them. Nothing else was touched."

She said that the elderly couple were "very fond" of the gargoyle, and "heartbroken" over its theft.

When asked about possible motive behind the theft, Fraser Aitken said he believed it was linked to earlier thefts in the area.

"This is only our belief, but we think the person who took him was probably the person who took all those other goods. In particular, those two copper earns and about a $100 worth of antiques stolen from around the area.

"I think they're trying to make a business out of it in some form."

Fraser Aitken said that should the thief have a change of heart and decide to return Julian, he and his wife would forgive and forget the incident.

"Just return him, and we'll forget that you ever entered our property."