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Warning To Real Estate Agents Following Arrest

Warning To Real Estate Agents Following Arrest
New Zealand Police Waikato News Release
9:52am 3 July 2008

03 July 2008

The arrest of a man following a chase through Hamilton streets has led Police to issue a warning to home owners and real estate agents about how they advertise properties.

Detective Sergeant Arthur Harper said the man was wanted following the theft of a 2001 Lexus convertible, stolen from a Hamilton address last week.

"It was quite a distinctive car and one of our patrols saw it being driven on Peachgrove Rd around lunch time.

"The driver refused to pull over and accelerated to about 100km/h through city streets, forcing other drivers to take evasive action to avoid collision," said Mr Harper.

Turning into a no exit street the offender fled the vehicle, leaving it in neutral to crash into the garage of a home causing considerable damage.

"Arrested, the offender has admitted to four burglaries and gave us information on how he targeted homes that raised some concerns," said Mr Harper.

The man had been studying billboards and websites advertising houses for sale or flatmates wanted, looking for pictures showing electronics items in peoples' homes.

Last week a number of plasma screen or LCD televisions were stolen from addresses in the city.

"Of these several were from homes for sale with photos of their lounges displayed on billboards outside.

"A picture of the inside of your lounge looks very nice and is sure to attract prospective buyers but it is also likely to attract prospective burglars attracted to the high end electronics on display," he said.

Police are asking vendors and estate agents to think about security issues before they publish photos of properties, particularly of home interiors.

Officers are also aware of people attending open-homes around the city, distracting estate agents and unlocking doors or windows for easy access to the home later.


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