Spate of burglaries triggers police hunt

TALIA SHADWELL
Last updated 06:38 28/03/2014

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Wellington

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Wellington police are hunting thieves behind what they are calling the worst week of burglaries so far this year.

Shops in Khandallah were among those struck last week in 36 burglaries around the Wellington region.

While some premises appeared to have been targeted for alcohol, Khandallah shops were the worst hit, Detective Senior Sergeant Scott Dunn said.

"Last week there were more commercial property burglaries than there has been in the past," he said. "It was the worst week we've had this year."

The cold season creeping up often brought a spike in burglaries and it was unlikely just one culprit was behind the recent break- ins, Mr Dunn said.

"There seems to be increased crime around winter . . . it's darker and the nights are rainy and obviously they think they might get away with it if people obviously aren't out and about."

An alarm and a bottle smashed in the street alerted a cleaner who spotted two men making off with armfuls of booze from Blair St restaurant Big Dogs early yesterday. Police arrested two men in relation to the burglary.

Two men are alleged to have jimmied its doors open to take the first haul of booze about 12.45am.

Mr Dunn said it was thought they left and drank the alcohol, then returned at 5.20am, broke in again, and left with more bottles of spirits, except for one they dropped in Wakefield St.

About a dozen bottles were taken. "They had just gone to the spirits shelf, and filled their boots, so to speak."

Police arrested two Hutt Valley men, aged 30 and 35, at the Horokiwi BP station on State Highway 2 yesterday morning.

They were charged with two counts of burglary each. One was also charged with driving with excess breath alcohol.

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- The Dominion Post

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