Police believe burglaries 'related'
Burglaries in Marlborough have increased dramatically in the past eight weeks, with an average of one a day since July 1, police say.
Marlborough police area prevention manager Senior Sergeant Peter Payne said the spike in burglaries was concerning. As of yesterday, 65 burglaries had been reported in Marlborough since July 1.
The thefts had been spread across the region, from Picton to Kaikoura, Mr Payne said.
Police believed the burglaries were related. "We do believe they are connected, but it's hard to draw a pattern because they have been so random and spread so far," he said.
Rural and urban properties have been targeted, including 10 burglaries reported at houses in the Marlborough Sounds.
Police arrested a 21-year-old man on Monday last week who they believed was responsible for some of the Marlborough Sounds burglaries, Mr Payne said.
Large amounts of fuel, particularly diesel, was being targeted from rural properties in the region.
It was estimated 1200 litres of diesel had been stolen from vineyards, farms and rural areas in the past eight weeks.
"It's just happening everywhere, unfortunately," Mr Payne said.
"It comes down to rural property owners being vigilant about securing their property and keeping an eye out for their neighbours."
Unlocked garages and outdoor sheds had been broken into and entered around urban Blenheim areas while some brazen thieves were entering houses in daylight.
On Wednesday last week, a thief entered a house in Blenheim in the middle of the day while the resident was at home, Mr Payne said. "If you're going around in broad daylight, you must be pretty confident about what you're doing."
A wallet was stolen from the house on Goodman St about 12pm.
It was found a short time later on the road near the address, empty.
On the same day, a house on Maxwell Rd was broken into between 12pm and 4.30pm.
The thief got into the house by smashing a window in the front door.
Cash and bank cards belonging to three of the residents were stolen.
While some cash had been taken, it was smaller electronic items such as laptops, iPods and MP3 players that were common items for thieves to take, Mr Payne said.
He asked people to contact Blenheim police if they were offered secondhand electronic items that seemed suspicious.
Sixty-five burglaries in eight weeks was huge, Mr Payne said.
"We went through a period where there were hardly any burglaries.
"We believe it's an active person or a group of people. We don't know why they're here, but we're working on it."
People with information should call Blenheim police, ph 03 578 5279, or give information anonymously calling Crimestoppers, ph 0800 555 111.
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