Dumb and Dumber and a mate cooked up a scheme to raise a house deposit but came unstuck when they were caught out having their own home “burgled”. In a plot that could have come straight out of the TV comedy featuring a family of blundering criminals, the Taranaki couple used a mate to stage a break-in of their Eltham home. Samantha Jane Smart, 25, and Hayden James Smart, 26, then used the insurance payout to buy their first house, right here in Bell Block. But after paying out almost $25,000 to the couple, AMI Insurance smelled a rat and called police. The insurance fraud was revealed in court documents before the New Plymouth District Court yesterday. When Bell Block police visited the Smarts’ home and that of their mate – in Bell Block and Napier – they uncovered some of the property the couple had reported stolen but couldn’t bear to part with. (Now that is Dumb). At the Smarts’ new Bell Block home police found a boxed set of Outrageous Fortune DVDs, a diamond heart pendant necklace and a love link bracelet all of which had been listed as taken in the “break-in” of their Eltham home on January 12 2013.Their Napier mate, Michael Holland, 26, who admitted in the New Plymouth District Court yesterday that he carried out the “burglary”, pleaded guilty to obtaining by deception. The Smarts have already pleaded guilty to the same charge of obtaining by deception and will next appear at a disputed facts hearing on October 31st 2013.
A 1960s-style home with ocean views was one of the two latest prize-winning designs by Bell Block based architectural designer Tony Biesiek. The regional New Zealand Architectural Design Awards covering Manawatu, Whanganui and Taranaki invited designers to submit entries across seven categories, including residential, commercial and industrial projects. The awards night in New Plymouth last week saw Mr Biesiek, of Imagine Building Design, win the architectural design award for a new home over 300sqm. He also picked up a colour design award for his transformation of a dilapidated New Plymouth restaurant. Winning awards was the best way to develop a good reputation, Mr Biesiek said. “It’s putting the worthwhile projects out there for national critique.”