Pre-Christmas police swoop targets burglars

Last updated 09:38 20/12/2012

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Police are hoping the arrest of nearly 120 people will make a serious dent in the number of home burglaries this Christmas.

The arrests were made as part of Operation Safe Home - a two-week initiative which saw 119 men and women arrested for a raft of dishonesty and drug charges.

Police conducted searches in New Plymouth, Taranaki, Ruapehu, Whanganui, Tararua, Horowhenua, and Palmerston North.

Detective Senior Sergeant Marc Hercock said it was a just a normal part of their job, although had been a success.

"Police are committed to preventing crime before it occurs. Operation Safe Home is not a new initiative, it's part of day-to-day policing."

Those arrested will face a variety of dishonesty and drug charges and will appear in court in the coming days and weeks.

Offences ranged from receiving stolen property, burglary, aggravated burglary, cannabis supply and cultivation, unlawful possession of firearms, and aggravated robbery.

Police also recovered a number of firearms and electronics.

"This time of year is particularly tempting for the criminal fraternity as people usually go on holiday and may forget to tick all the boxes on their to-do list," Hercock said.

"Remember to secure your possessions and property before you go. Some simple steps could save you a whole lot of stress and worry in the long run.

"Don't let burglars ruin your festive season. Protect your property by preventing opportunities for burglars."

TIPS FOR A SAFE HOME:

* Make sure your house, vehicles, sheds and garages are secured at all times and use effective catches and locks.

* Don't leave a spare door key hidden outside.

* Keep valuables and wrapped presents out of view.

* Make the house look lived in - put lights on automatic timers and have someone open and close curtains and take the post in.

* Make sure plants and trees, particularly close to doors and windows are well trimmed - don't give thieves a place to hide.

* Mark your property so it can be easily identified if recovered

* Make a list of property and record serial numbers

* Take photos of unique items such as jewellery and ornaments

* Have home insurance but remember no amount of insurance money can replace those items of sentimental value.

* Don't put empty boxes from new purchases out with the rubbish or recycling collection as it advertises what is in your house - take them to be recycled.

* Getting to know your neighbours can also be effective in the fight against criminals 

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