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Big spike in burglaries

Burglaries in Masterton have increased threefold over the last fortnight, sparking Wairarapa police to urge homeowners to be more vigilant.

“The days of leaving vehicles insecure on our properties and doors open to our houses when we are not home are gone,” Detective Senior Sergeant Barry Bysouth said.

Since November 5, there have been 46 burglaries in Masterton and surrounding areas.

This is well above the seven to eight burglaries a week usually reported to police.

But Mr Bysouth said it was important to note that while the current trend was concerning, the number of actual home breaks-ins remained “well under” the weekly expectations.

At least 28 of the incidents involved the breaking into or stealing from unlocked cars on driveways, while a further nine had occurred in unlocked laundries or garages, with frozen meat from freezers being the main item stolen.

Mr Bysouth said it was vital the public remained vigilant around their homes, locked and removed valuables from their cars at night, and locked outside laundries during the day when not at home.

“Take away the opportunity for criminals to see something they like and have free access to it.

“Close your gates when you go to work and talk to your neighbours so you can protect each other from this opportunistic crime.”

Mr Bysouth said over the past few weeks the west side of Masterton, Solway and Lansdowne had been the most targeted areas, with the likelihood that just a few offenders had committed all the crimes.

“We have arrested several offenders for this crime type over the last four months and we remain very focussed on burglary in the area.

“If we work together as a community by looking after ourselves and our neighbours I am confident we can put an end to this recent trend.”

He said any suspicious activity should be immediately reported to the police.

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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