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Coastal burglaries in Northland

Northland District Headquarters
88 Cameron Street, Whangärei
Monday June 16, 2014

Whangärei Police are warning boat owners to secure their boats and equipment away from opportunistic thieves who have been targeting coastal areas east of Whangärei and as far north as the Bay of Islands.

Police want boat owners to make sure their boats aren’t just parked up on the front lawn or on the street with easily removable items like petrol tanks sitting inside them. These are highly prized objects by thieves as they can be moved on quickly for cash or other items.

The offenders aren’t particular about what type of boats they target and have even been removing outboard motors. It appears they are seeking easily accessible boats, so the harder you make it for them the less likely you are to lose your boat.

It's really important that these coastal communities keep a good watch on each other’s properties and report to Police via the 111 phone number any behaviour they think is suspicious or “out of the norm”.

If it doesn’t look right, or an odd vehicle comes up your driveway or you see a vehicle and its occupants acting suspicious then make the call. During winter more boats are out of the water and parked up, which makes a greater selection for the thieves cruising through these coastal communities looking for an easy target.

For example last Friday afternoon a suspicious vehicle was observed at Whangärei Heads and reported to police. The vehicle was stopped on Mount Tiger Rd and after initially stopping for Police the driver took off. The vehicle and its occupants were located a short time later near Pataua North having. The occupants had swapped vehicles and it is believed that they may have been looking an opportunity to commit a burglary or other crime. The driver is facing drug charges and failing to stop. This goes to show the importance of keeping vigilant.

Another trend that the Police have noticed is the theft of number plates from vehicles. These are possibly being used in burglaries or petrol thefts from service stations to prevent the offence being traced back to the registered owner of the vehicle. If you have your registration plate stolen from your vehicle please report it immediately to Police. The quicker we have the information about the stolen plates the more chance we have of preventing someone becoming a victim of another crime.

Our advice around securing your property like boats is to store them in a garage or out of sight. If possible: secure dinghies with a solid security chain and use a security rated padlock; keep keys in your house (never ‘hidden’ outside); etch the registration number and/or your driver licence number on the boat and on the boat trailer; mark valuable equipment (like GPS units or fish finders) for identification or better still remove them and store elsewhere if possible; use a wheel or tow ball lock and consider an alarm or other anti-theft device.

For media inquiries contact Northland Police Communications Manager Sarah
By protecting your boat it will be less likely it will be taken. Police urge you to consider the advice and to protect your boat from these thieves & to call us if you note anything suspicious.

ENDS

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