30 face charges after police sting
Thirty people face charges after a police sting uncovered cash, drugs and stolen property.
More than 40 police officers searched 24 properties on Wednesday in an operation targeting known burglars, receivers and drug dealers in the eastern district.
Fifteen people were arrested in Hawke's Bay, nine in Wairoa and six in Gisborne. They face charges ranging from possession of cannabis for supply through to receiving stolen property.
Detective Senior Sergeant Mike Foster, who heads the Eastern Organised Crime Unit, said police found cannabis, methamphetamine and cash along with stolen clothes, jewellery, televisions and computers.
Mr Foster said the burglaries were linked to drugs as a means to fund habits or pay debts.
''There is a definite trail of burglary, selling the stolen items to a receiver and using the proceeds of that to buy drugs. It's an easy way to raise money and burglars will take every opportunity they can to do it," Mr Foster said.
The operation targeted certain people to try and reduce burglaries in the district.
Mr Foster wanted to encourage people to be more security-conscious, because December and January were traditionally busy times for burglars.
STEPS TO BEAT THE BURGLARS:
- Securing windows and doors can make all the difference between being a victim of burglary or not.
- If you're going away during the holidays, have someone clear your letterbox of mail and regularly check your property. Get a neighbour to put some lights on in your house each night; hang some washing on your clothesline and park a car in your driveway.
- Know your neighbours - if you don't already, introduce yourself to them and look into starting a Neighbourhood Support Group.
- Don't leave things like ladders or garden furniture close to windows - burglars will use these to break into your house.
- Report any suspicious behaviour to police immediately. Good descriptions of people and vehicles are helpful.
The Dominion Post