Bunny bandits return stolen pre-school pets

HAPPY DAYS: Cameron Denson, 2, Jaxon Bain, 3, Abbie Young, teacher, Elliot Jolly,4 Alexander Bromell, 2 and Lachan Preddy, 4 (back) welcome back their two rabbits Rose & Ruby to BestStart Hei Hei preschool.

Bunny bandits have returned two pet rabbits to a pre-school after outrage on social media.

The two bunny sisters, Ruby and Rose, were stolen from BestStart Hei Hei on November 30.

Two hutches, rabbit food and a wooden baby fence were also taken. It was the second burglary in two nights at the pre-school. During the first one, a Civil Defence kit and two shade sails were stolen.

The rabbits and a hutch were returned on December 3 after CCTV footage of the offenders was published on Facebook and on Stuff.

BestStart Hei Hei pre-school manager Melitta Fielding narrowly missed the burglars returning the rabbits.

“A friend has a surveillance camera and saw the car driving down the road with a rabbit cage on the back . . . by the time I got there, they had dumped them down the side of the building and the rabbits were in the hutch.”

She said the children loved having them back.

“They were so excited when they saw the cage.”

Miss Fielding believed media coverage of the thefts may have pressured the thieves to return the rabbits.

Nothing else stolen in the burglaries has been returned.