Frustrated business owner Earl Reed is sick of crime in Kaikohe.
He's been plagued by burglaries over the last six months and is wondering whether he should just pack it in.
Mr Reed has been running his quarry contractor's business EJ Reed & Co for more than 20 years and the break-ins at his property have never been this bad, he says.
"They're running away with everything," he says.
He's concerned about access criminals have to the site through a short section of Pou Herenga Tai, the Twin Coast Cycle Trail - designed to allow cyclists to ride coast to coast from Opua to Horeke on the Hokianga Harbour.
The route follows the old rail line through the north and intersects his driveway, which was once the only access to his Rankin St address.
Mr Reed wants the trail closed between Station Rd and Taheke Rd and cyclists diverted into town where the extra traffic could benefit, rather than hurt, Kaikohe businesses.
His manager Terri St Clair agrees.
"When the cycleway went in, it brought the riff-raff," she says.
She's a fan of the cycleway in principle but agrees the section of a couple of hundred metres between Station Rd and Taheke Rd is a problem.
"That cycleway went through and we've had no end of problems."
The business was broken into on June 24, June 25, June 28, August 29, October 16, October 26 and November 16.
It has invested $20,000 in security cameras and $8000 in alarms but that's not deterring the burglars.
A truck and tools worth $60,000 were taken from the yard in the middle of the night in the latest incident.
"Anything that gets Kaikohe up and going, or even the north, has got to be a good thing but not at the expense of others," Ms St Clair says.
A neighbour has compiled a list of 18 affected businesses and homeowners on the stretch of cycleway between Station Rd and Taheke Rd, who say they have been affected by crime since the cycleway went through.
Richard Penney, owner of Kaikohe Panelbeaters, has suffered from criminal activity but not to the extent that EJ Reed has suffered, he says.
"It gives the kind that are doing the break-ins the ability to do their scouting freely," he says.
It has given the bad element in Kaikohe an advantage.
"They've already gone and checked out a property before they do anything," he says.
The Kaikohe Business Association's submission to the Far North District Council's draft annual plan for 2013-14 calls for the section of trail to be closed and cycle traffic diverted into town.
It calls the section "a folly" and "entirely devoid of merit".
Mayor John Carter won't comment until he's been briefed on the issue in the annual plan process but says the cycleway "in principle, is marvellous".
He says it's "absolutely essential" for the region and that it has the potential to bring visitors to the area as a worldwide attraction.
"There might be some hiccups but let's look at the benefit it brings to everyone," he says.
Kaikohe Community Watch's Facebook administrator Tony Taylor has again urged vigilance in the community.
"Unless the community as a whole steps up and starts looking after our town then businesses are going to close."
One contributor to the page responds: "Getting close to Xmas now, for those who are planning holidays away, take all your valuables with you."
Break-ins on June 24, June 25, June 28, August 29, October 16, October 26 with the latest on November 16.
$20,000 invested in security cameras.
$8000 invested in alarms.
Mitsubishi truck registration PA5191 and tools worth $60,000 taken in latest incident.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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