Car break-ins at beauty spot spark warning

"You've got to be careful."

Last updated 05:00 05/12/2012
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Two cars that had windows smashed at Lake Mangamahoe car park yesterday

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Two cars that had windows smashed at Lake Mangamahoe car park yesterday serve as a reminder to be extra vigilant over vehicle security as the silly season approaches, police say.

Holli Marshall returned from her half-hour walk to the lookout at Lake Mangamahoe to find the driver's door open and two windows smashed on her car.

The thieves took her GPS but left behind her purse, which was behind the seat.

About the same time, another car was broken into further around the lake while its owner, Gabrielle Johnson, was out walking with her sister.

Senior Sergeant Allan Whaley said it was a timely reminder for drivers to lock their vehicles and keep any valuables with them or out of sight.

"You've got to be careful, particularly at this time of year."

Public carparks and tourist spots were high-risk areas, he said.

Ms Johnson said they had heard yelling but did not think anything of it.

"They must have done our car first and then seen this one on the way out," she said.

With only an iPod cord taken from her car, it was likely to be youths mucking around, she said.

Mrs Marshall said she came to the lake a couple of times a week to walk the dogs she cares for as part of her job.

She was disappointed at the pointless, destructive behaviour.

"It makes you feel awful."

Mr Whaley said the usual procedure for an incident such as this was for the victim to report it to the police station.

He said that, if the offender was present, the incident would be prioritised but often that was not the case.

"Generally we would ask them to come in to the station and make a complaint and we would examine the car and get the details."

Mrs Marshall was disappointed police did not attend the break-in of her car, but could understand why.

"I guess it's a matter of dollars and cents.

"I'm sure it must be frustrating for them too."

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- Taranaki Daily News

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