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Welly Night Time Intruder Burglaries Increase

Wellington Night Time Intruder Burglaries Increase As Temperatures Rise

New Zealand Police Wellington News Release

11 December 2008

Leaving accessible windows and doors open and unlocked to keep yourself cool these warmer nights is an invitation to burglars, warn Wellington Police.

Detective Sergeant Martin Todd, Burglary Squad, says police are investigating a spate of night time intruder burglaries to residential premises and apartments across the Wellington area. Seven burglaries in the last seven days happened when people were at home asleep, and committed by intruders who had got in through open windows.

Four burglaries were In Newtown and Mt Cook, two in Seatoun and one in Karori. Laptop computers, ipods, digital cameras and cash, were taken in same cases literally from under occupant's noses as they slept.

In two cases the occupants woke and confronted the burglars who ran from the properties.

"These crimes are a real concern to us. The offenders appear very motivated to break into occupied homes and apartments at night and the chances of a confrontation with householders are much higher," says Detective Sergeant Todd.

During the last two months there has been another unrelated spate of night time intruder burglaries in apartments or multi story flats in the Mt Cook, Newtown and Brooklyn areas. Offenders have got in through unlocked external common entrance doors, and internal doors. Again the occupants have been home at the time.

"Some flats or high rise apartments have been student accommodation where residents have kept doors open or ajar to make sure their flatmates or friends can visit.

"As the nights get warmer we really encourage people to be more safety conscious. Install some good security stays on your windows, lock your doors, deck or balcony ranchsliders and check that they're locked before you go to bed.

"Burglars are very quick to move along from house to house, flat to flat, trying doors and windows. If they're secure, burglars will move onto the next one."

Detective Sergeant Todd says it's also timely for apartment dwellers to watch for "tail gaters" following legitimate occupants into the main entrances of residential blocks. CCTV footage installed in apartments including vehicle entranceways is a good deterrent - and helps identify people who do try to break in.

"Our crime prevention message is pretty simple. Check your household security. Ensure you have good security stays on windows, or keep your windows and your doors locked.

"We don't want you to wake up and find that your Christmas shopping or other valuables have been pinched."

If anyone has any information about the recent burglaries in Wellington, please call Wellington Police in confidence, phone 0800 TIPOFF or 04 381 2000 and ask for the Burglary or duty CIB squad.

ENDS

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