Central North Island hit by burglaries, five arrested

Last updated 09:05 25/07/2014

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A wave of burglaries across the Central North Island has prompted police across the regions to work together to track down the culprits.

As reported last week, residential burglaries in Palmerston North had risen into the thirties for a seven-day period, a sharp increase on the usual 20 mark.

Since then that figure had only wavered slightly, and was still reaching 30, Inspector Brett Calkin said.

Burglaries had also increased in Whanganui and Taranaki, where 70 homes in Whanganui and 15 homes in South Taranaki had been targeted.

In Horowhenua, Levin police had found themselves dealing with the same problem.

And that was having had a spike in burglaries earlier in the year that had come right down again, Senior Sergeant Sarn Paroli said.

But the number of burglaries had risen again over the past two or three weeks to about nine a week, which was high for the township, he said.

As with Palmerston North, residential homes were being targeted, and portable, high-value items like electronics, jewellery, and where possible, cash, were being taken.

The burglaries were being committed during the day and at night, and there was a variety of techniques to gain entry to homes, whether that was through insecure windows and doors, or breaking in.

To combat the problem, police staff from Palmerston North, Whanganui, and Taranaki had been working together.

As a result of collective efforts, searches at several Whanganui and Hawera addresses had led to the arrest of five people.

Detective Heath Karlson from the Stratford CIB and said it was becoming more common for offenders to travel out of town and district to commit crimes only to return in an attempt to dispose of the property.

"Unfortunately, the offenders for these crimes lack the moral compass which grounds most of society and they will continue to offend and commit burglaries, ignoring the effects on their victims."

If anyone saw suspicious activity, or people offering items of value for sale at an unusually low price, they were asked to report it to police.

Police also advise people to lock their homes and put extra security measures in place to minimise the risk of being burgled.

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- The Manawatu Standard

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