Summer is the season stairdancers strike

MARYKE PENMAN
Last updated 14:27 14/12/2012

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Police are warning workers to secure their belonging as summer is the season "stairdancers" - thieves who swipe office workers' belongings from off their desks - strike.

''Store your belongings out of sight, in drawers and not within easy reach,'' North Shore police community area manager senior sergeant Clare Robertson said. 

Items that are easily lifted such as iPads, laptops, phones, wallets and handbags are most appealing to thieves, she said.

Valuables left in cars parked outside offices are also regularly targeted.

"When people are on their morning tea or lunch breaks are typically when office places are most vulnerable, but they can strike at any time."

The North Harbour Business Association has joined police in warning office workers.

The association's crime prevention specialist Anna Crane said people should not hesitate to approach suspicious visitors to their workplace.

"These criminals can slip in and out really easily and are generally very quick to think on their feet,'' she said.

"Don't be afraid to challenge anyone lurking where they shouldn't be."

Crane said stairdancers don't always look how people may expect.

"They are very clever and think it through."

The key to safeguarding property was for workers to keep an eye on their belongings at all times along with their workplaces entry and exits, she said.

"People feel secure in their own work place and naturally feel safer during the day.But they must realise criminals are active at all times of the day."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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