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Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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Burglary blitz – 23 arrests

Police have taken firm action to stem a wave of burglaries affecting Wairarapa in the past year.

On Friday, Wairarapa police confirmed they had made 23 arrests relating to thefts in the region in the last two weeks.

Strong links between the thefts and methamphetamine use was also confirmed.

The police campaign, dubbed Operation Gardener, targeted known burglary and dishonesty offenders, high-crime areas, and the use of methamphetamine.

Several search warrants, targeting organised crime, recovered drugs, drug utensils and stolen property were executed.

Ten burglaries to date have been resolved.

Local policing resources were pulled together following a spike in thefts within Wairarapa, Detective Sergeant Dean Cadwallader said.

According to latest police statistics, the region experienced a 28 per cent increase in burglaries last year, with 998 incidents, compared to 782 in 2015.

Mr Cadwallader said motorcycles and quad bikes had been the main targets, with thefts occurring in both urban and rural areas.

He said police suspected the stolen vehicles were being quickly disguised and moved out of the region.

Five stolen motorcycles, trail bikes of various engine sizes, a scrub saw, dive gear, fishing gear and camping gear were recovered and identified from specific burglaries.

Police also recovered a large amount of power tools including Makita, Stanley and Hitachi models as well as a large De Walt drop saw.

These items are believed to be stolen but have not yet been linked to any crimes.

So far nine charges of burglary and seven charges of receiving stolen property have been laid.

Some of those facing charges had been allegedly been stealing to fund their methamphetamine addiction.

Mr Cadwallader said enquiries were continuing and further charges would be laid.

Two of the burglaries were resolved after members of the public alerted police to suspicious activity.

He said people should report thefts to police as soon as possible.

“Unless we receive information very quickly about these vehicles and their location after being stolen, the odds of us recovering them reduce significantly”.

He said social media had played a part in the burglary arrests.

“I would advocate that the public, if they have images of their property, use Facebook and other similar sites to put their gear out there.”

As well as helping to locate stolen items, this helped “close off” opportunities for thieves to on-sell the goods.

Mr Cadwallader said police staff working on Operation Gardener had put in long hours, but it had achieved good results.

“Burglaries have significantly reduced over this period but we are well aware this will not fix the problem.

“We will continue to pursue these offenders by whatever means we have available.

“We ask that people remain vigilant and continue to report suspicious activity – a simple phone call or email can make a significant difference to future crime if we can get to the offender quickly.”

Photos of the unidentified stolen items will be put on the Wellington Police Facebook page next week.

Police said people should secure their properties, record serial numbers, and photograph identifiable features of valuable items.

Anyone with information which will assist police with property or drug crime should contact police, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Families and friends of people with drug dependencies can help by getting in touch with Te Hauora Runanga O Wairarapa 0800 666 6744 or Alcohol Drug Helpline on 0800 787797.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Having been burgled three times some years ago in the Te Awamutu area while we were away at our business. (Never getting anything back!)
    I am pleased to see burglers being targeted in stings.
    In addition our dog was stolen and recognised by family elsewhere before being returned home. Weeks later he was stolen again from his kennel.
    Why do some people think it is OK to take from hardworking neighbours in the community what they are too lazy to earn for themselves. Get a life!

  2. GREAT NEWS TO HEAR THAT YOU BUSTED THESE GUYS. BUT IF THEY ARE LOCAL TO OUR COMMUNITY WHY CANT WE KNOW THERE NAMES WITH A PHOTO ALSO PUBLISHED. AS I THINK ONE OF THE SO CALLED 23 MIGHT JUST LIVE DOWN THE ROAD. MY SONS BIKE WAS ALSO STOLEN.

  3. Well done to the police officers and tge support teams. Your doing a great job any chance you could put the offenders pictures up so everyone one can see who these people are.

Comments are closed.

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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