Opportunistic thieves targeting insecure homes
New Plymouth Police are concerned at the number of property thefts occurring in suburbs throughout the city and want to remind the community to take precautions and protect their property.
Senior Sergeant Thomas McIntyre, New Plymouth Prevention Manager says: "During the past two weeks there has been an increase in property crime in the city, the greater Westown area, Moturoa, and Spotswood. We believe a couple of groups of offenders are responsible for the thefts and are targeting properties with unlocked doors, open windows, and insecure sheds and garages."
A group of three young men aged 16, 20, and 27 were arrested in the early morning on the 13th of January, 2014. They were responsible for several thefts from vehicles and burglaries that had occurred in the Drake Street/Carrington Street area that night. Two of the males have already been dealt with by the Court and both were sentenced to nine months imprisonment.
The youth has been referred to Youth Aid.
Police believe most of the groups are operating on foot and targeting smaller items that are easy to carry, however they also may be using vehicles to transport property too heavy or cumbersome to carry such as power tools. It's likely the groups are operating late evening and early morning when it's still dark.
"I urge residents to be vigilant and take measures to secure their property.
Even if you are leaving your home briefly shut and secure all your windows and doors, and make sure valuables are kept out of sight.
"I want to reassure the community that we are committed to apprehending those who are responsible for the thefts and preventing further thefts."
Police encourage anyone who may know who is responsible for any of these burglaries to contact Police or alternatively the organisation Crimestoppers.
"We have increased our presence in these areas and are being supported by Community Patrols, Neighbourhood Support, and Police volunteers who all do some excellent work out in the community.
"Public information is invaluable in helping us apprehend those who choose to commit burglary. If you see any suspicious behaviour or activity going on call 111 and give them as much detail as possible," says Senior Sergeant McIntyre.
Anyone with information regarding these burglaries is asked to contact Detective Sergeant Gerard Bouterey on (06) 215 4141. Information can also be provided anonymously to the organisation Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.