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Another business break-in

By Beckie Wilson

[email protected]

After six months of break-ins, Kuripuni business owners have had enough.

Restaurant Curry Twist is the latest victim — broken into twice in the past fortnight, with burglars taking cash and booze.

The break-ins have once again sparked cause for greater support from police and council, who admit the security camera in the area hasn’t properly worked since installed in 2008.

Neighbouring restaurant, Tripoli Bistro, has also been broken into several times, the most recent on Christmas Day morning.

The damage after a break-in at the Kuripuni restaurant.
The damage after a break-in at the Kuripuni restaurant PHOTO/SUPPLIED.

Curry Twist manager Yuvraj Bajwa arrived to the restaurant on January 13 to find the door window had been smashed in and stock stolen.

“They took all the cash, about $600, and three or four bottles of spirits,” Mr Bajwa said.

Exactly a week later, on January 20, it happened again.

On closing that night, Mr Bajwa and his staff even barricaded the doors with tables and seats to deter the next burglar – but it didn’t stop them.

“The second time they stole about 12 beers, and left the front and back doors open.

“It makes us think it was the same people because they did it the same way again.”

Mr Bajwa said a business cannot be run if this keeps happening.

“We are a small business and a small town — it is quite hard to survive.”

“Police should be patrolling all the time in this area. The whole village gets dark when all shops are closed and lights are off.”

Mr Bajwa said the restaurant had lost about $2000 in total due to the two break-ins, with the loss of stock, cash and repair fees.

When Tripoli Bistro was burgled on Christmas Day for the fourth-time last year, Marlon Tortoza asked to view the footage from the security camera placed on the side of the Wairarapa Trading Co building, opposite his restaurant.

“When I talked to the cop he said that the camera wasn’t active,” he said.

“It is just a bit of a joke.”

He said he sees patrol cars doing the rounds, “but it’s not all night”.

“The council has to step up jointly with the police to install more surveillance.”

Mr Tortoza said he pays his rates and liquor licence fees as a restaurant owner, but would like to see the Masterton District Council doing something.

“They shouldn’t get away with it, if they [burglars] are under age, the parents need to do something about it.”

“We all look out for each other here but I would like to think nothing else is going to happen.”

Masterton District Council admit the security camera hasn't worked properly since installed in 2008 PHOTO/CHELSEA BOYLE
Masterton District Council admit the security camera hasn’t worked properly since installed in 2008 PHOTO/CHELSEA BOYLE

A Masterton District Council spokesperson said it was incredibly disappointing that there has been a spate of burglaries in the area and distressing for all those who are impacted.

“We installed a camera in Kuripuni in 2008, but there have always been issues with the quality of the radio signal back to Masterton Police Station.”

“As there is no stand-alone fibre in Kuripuni, we are reliant on a wireless signal which requires a direct, uninterrupted line of sight between the camera and the receiver.”

Communication with the council contractor to improve the camera network is in place.

“We are happy to be included in any future discussions between business owners and the Police as they look to minimise crime in the area.

“We have funded and placed 13 cameras in the CBD, which are monitored by the Police.”

Hot Yoga For You owner Shari Smith has had her business in Kuripuni for about four-and-a-half years.

Only two weekends ago, flowers at her front entrance had been ripped out of their pots, and last week a customer’s bike was stolen during a morning class.

But these petty crimes have been happening for about the past two years and “everyone there has had a bit of a taste over the years,” she said.

“Surveillance needs to be addressed in Kuripuni — between the council and police, and as a local area [we] need to keep pushing it.”

She said she has done her best to help improve the surveillance situation in the area, but said it needed to be followed up on.

“It’s really sad – school holidays might just be that peak time,” she said.

“The community need to have a stronger awareness around these time frames, we are not going to tolerate it.”

Sergeant Ian Osland said patrolling of high risk areas in Masterton was a police priority on a week-by-week basis.

“If an area tends to get a bit of a spike, we will deploy to that demand,” he said.

“In general terms, it’s not just Kuripuni that is our high-risk area,” he said.

Sergeant Osland said the council-owned security cameras are fed back to the Masterton police station.

All cameras in the CBD are continually assessed and upgraded.

“We liaise with the council and talk about the high-risk areas and expansion of the network where possible.”



  1. Wifi connectivity would be a option,
    Maybe all the surrounding businesses could pool the cost to upgrade the connectivity ?

  2. Maybe businesses in Kurupuni should install there own cameras not wait for the council they probaly dont even monitor there cameras.

  3. I think security is important for everyone including businesses. A collaboative approach by businesses and homeowners (general public) council and police would be great I personally am not adverse to contributing toward security cameras in our town through a small increase in rates or similar. Jelena

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