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Central District Police bust burglary ring

Central District Police bust burglary ring

Police staff from Palmerston North, Whanganui, and the Taranaki have been working together in response to a series of burglaries committed across area borders over the past six weeks.

The offenders had been targeting both residential homes and farms where significant amounts of property, jewellery, money, vehicles, and items of sentimental value were stolen. Approximately 70 homes in Whanganui and 15 homes in South Taranaki had been targeted.

As a result of collective efforts and assistance from the public and local media, officers have executed several warrants at Whanganui and Hawera addresses. In total five people were arrested in relation to the burglaries. A 42-year-old Whanganui man has been charged with receiving stolen property and a 32-year-old Whanganui woman has appeared before the court and plead guilty to 2 burglaries.

Three people from the Taranaki including two men aged 24 and 25, and a woman aged 30 have been arrested and all three have been charged with burglary and unlawful taking.

Acting Sergeant Aaron Bunker from the Whanganui Strategic Crime Group says: “The cooperation between Policing Areas has been instrumental in achieving these results and we take this type of offending very seriously. There is no better feeling for officers than when we can return items of considerable sentimental value to the rightful owner.”

Detective Heath Karlson from the Stratford CIB and officer in charge of the arrests says it is becoming more common for offenders to travel out of town and district to commit crimes only to return in an attempt to dispose of the property.

“If anyone sees any suspicious activity including that of people offering items of value for sale and low priced we encourage them to report it to Police. Burglary can have detrimental effects on the morale of people who have been burgled.

“I advise all members of the public to lock their homes and put security measures in place to minimise the risk. Unfortunately the offenders for these crimes lack the moral compass which grounds most of society and they will continue to offend and commit burglaries ignoring the effects on their victims. By being prepared and putting security measures in place members of the public can aid in reducing these crimes, says Detective Karlson.

Protect yourself and your community by taking some simple steps:

Make sure your house, vehicles, sheds and garages are secured at all times and use effective catches and locks.
Don't leave a spare door key hidden outside.
Invest in an alarm, quality deadlocks and security lighting.
Keep valuables out of view.
Make the house look lived in - put lights on automatic timers and have someone open and close curtains and take the post in.
Make sure plants and trees are well trimmed - don't give thieves a place to hide.
Mark your property so it can be easily identified if recovered
Make a list of property and record serial numbers
Take photos of unique items such as jewellery and ornaments
Don't put empty boxes from new purchases out with the rubbish as it advertises what is in your house - take them to be recycled.
Getting to know your neighbours is also effective in the fight against crime.
A great way to prevent burglaries is to report any suspicious behaviour to your local Police Station or call 111. Police appreciate it when people call about things that are not quite right in their neighbourhood. If you have a gut feeling that something is wrong then it probably is.

Householders should also take advantage of Operation SNAP which enables anyone to record serial numbers and other unique identifying details of their valuable goods on an electronic database for free. Visit www.snap.org.nz (link is external) for further information. Operation SNAP is a completely secure website and is supported by NZ Police.

Ends

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