Home security awareness stepped up
A woman whose house was cleared out around her by burglars while she and her family slept wants to remind others to be vigilant.
Veina Prawira couldn't believe what she was seeing when she woke in the early hours of November 7.
Couch cushions were strewn across her lounge, cables were hanging out of walls where electronics had been hastily unplugged and most of her valuables were gone.
"I was so scared. I just stood there," she says.
Mrs Prawira lives with her husband Nata and 7-month-old son Mugi in a small two-bedroom unit at the end of a long driveway in Te Papapa.
Incredibly, burglars were able to make off with the television set, a camera, a set of car keys, Mrs Prawira's running shoes and orange juice from the refrigerator without anyone noticing.
Mrs Prawira thinks bad weather on the night masked any sound. She and police believe either the front door was accidently left unlocked or the burglars were able to pry open a window and reach a set of house keys hanging nearby on a wall.
Mrs Prawira went to bed at 12.30am and was woken at 2am by her son crying. She thinks that prompted the intruders to leave.
Since the break-in she's been keeping the front gate padlocked and has double locks on the doors and windows.
She is even too frightened to leave her bedroom to go to the toilet at night.
Connecting with Neighbourhood Support and a network of families on her street has helped.
"It's good to know someone in the neighbourhood.
"If you know more people you feel safe which is important."
Mrs Prawira's street is a tight-knit community by today's standards.
Families get together for a street Christmas party and there is a network of around 30 who keep in contact via email to let each other know if something untoward has happened, resident Meredith Willoughby says.
"It's what you make of it, there are some people not into it but you can get a lot out of it. Sometimes it's just about having someone to call on."
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