A stolen vehicle was found burnt-out and abandoned in the Carterton District last week – making it the third such incident in the district in just one month, following two separate vehicular blazes at Carterton’s Howard Booth Park car park.
Masterton police responded to reports of a car fire on Te Wharau Rd, near the turnoff from Te Whiti Rd, at 10.20pm last Wednesday evening.
A police spokesperson was able to confirm the car was stolen.
Wairarapa area commander Inspector Scott Miller told the Times-Age that the vehicle – a Mazda Demio – was stolen from South Rd, Masterton.
According to the latest data from insurance provider AMI, the Mazda Demio is the second most stolen car in New Zealand, while the Toyota Aqua takes the top spot for the most frequently stolen car in 2023.
The two stolen cars that were recently set alight in Carterton were not related to last week’s incident, Miller said.
Police have identified the person responsible for the recent Carterton car fires as someone who is not a Wairarapa resident, and Miller said police are still looking for them outside of the region.
Police don’t believe that the owner of the stolen Mazda Demio had any idea their car was missing at the time of the incident, Miller said.
A Fire and Emergency spokesperson said after the stolen vehicle was extinguished, crews left it in the hands of police to follow up after ensuring there was no risk of a reignition.
While the main avenue of enquiry for police regarding the stolen car is CCTV, they are also asking anyone living on South Rd or in the surrounding area who saw anything suspicious last Wednesday [November 22] night to call police on 105.
The investigation is “ongoing”, police confirmed yesterday.