Thieves hit vehicles, houses around city

Groups of criminals are prowling streets to steal from unsecured vehicles and properties, police say.

Central New Plymouth and the suburbs Westown, Moturoa and Spotswood have experienced a surge in burglaries over the last week, and offenders have been targeting smaller, easy-to-carry items to pocket.

A week ago, the Daily News revealed an increase in vehicle break-ins in the Taranaki region, with Westown copping nearly 30 cases.

While most of the offenders were operating on foot, a vehicle may also be used to transport articles that were too heavy or too cumbersome to carry, police say.

Three young men were responsible for several vehicle break-ins and burglaries in New Plymouth in the past fortnight.

The males, aged 16 to 27, were arrested on January 13 and have been charged with vehicle break-ins and burglaries in the Drake St and Carrington St area.

Two have been jailed for nine months and the youth referred to Youth Aid.

Senior Sergeant Thomas McIntyre urged residents to be vigilant and take measures to have their properties secured.

"Even if you're leaving your home briefly, shut and secure all your windows and doors, and make sure valuables are kept out of sight," he said.

Anyone with information about the recent incidents can contact Detective Sergeant Gerard Bouterey on 06 215 4141.

Taranaki Daily News