North Shore Times : December 13th 2011
www.aucklandnow.co.nz Tuesday, December 13, 2011 Tried and true Santa on stage Serial Santa: Tim Raby will don a Santa suit for the eighth time in this year's The Santa Claus Story, with Kura Forrester, left, who plays young girl Kelly and Lori Dungey who plays Elfie. By MARNIE HALLAHAN Actor Tim Raby can't get enough of playing Santa's stunt double. This year will be his eighth Christmas starring in the family favourite The Santa Claus Story at The PumpHouse theatre. He says his role is one that never gets old and he relishes the chance to play such a beloved character. And even for adults it's a chance to remember what it was like to be a kid,'' he says. Mr Raby has his ho ho ho'' down pat after nearly a decade in the role but still likes to keep things fresh. Every year we like to try some- thing different.'' For the first time in the show's 10 year history the role of Elfie, Santa's helper, will be played by a woman. Fellow North Shore actress Lori Dungey auditioned for the part as a bit of fun and jokes that she's honoured to be the one to break through the candy ceiling''. It's great as an actress to get to do something sweet and heart- warming,'' she says. The Santa Claus Show is on at The PumpHouse, Takapuna, until December 23 with performances at 10.30am and 1pm daily except Sundays. Go to 489-8360 or online at www.pumphouse.co.nz to book seats.Spate of bag snatching By LISA HONEYBONE A GROUP of women bag snatchers is targeting shops in the lead-up to Christmas. It is understood the group is known to police and has a history of committing such offences. Police have issued a gen- eral warning to retailers and commercial premises to be on alert. Sergeant Scott Cunning- ham says the spate of this sort of crime is often seasonal and a clear trend has been noted in the past few weeks. Traditionally these thefts are committed by women who work in groups of two or more, he says. They enter a shop and while one engages the shop assistant the other will locate handbags or wallets either under counters or in back- rooms, he says. If the entire bag or wallet is not taken then they target just the credits cards.'' Mr Cunningham says they leave shop abruptly, usually without buying anything, once they have what they want. They then visit nearby stores and use the cards to buy goods like cellphones and alcohol within a space of minutes, he says. Mr Cunningham says an alarming variation is the deliberate targeting of the elderly by the same group of women. They approach elderly women shopping on their own and who have their handbags in easy grasp. While one of the group will engage the victim with a request for directions, an associate will position them- selves so as to take the hand- bag without being seen.'' They have also targeted women who have been in shopping malls and in park- ing lots. Police are aware of around 40 bag snatching incidents around the Shore including one at the IHC store in Bir- kenhead. Mr Cunningham won't say if the group is known to police for previous offending of this nature. Police are following positive lines of inquiry. Mr Cunningham says pre- vention is the key and people need to be vigilant. Simple common sense measures can dramatically prevent these incidents from occurring, he says. Shoppers should keep their handbags zipped up and in view at all times, and retail staff should store personal belongings in locked cupboards and out of view.
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