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Spike in car break-ins

A car was left with a broken window after a theft outside the Times-Age building. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Break-ins often work of young people

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More than 20 car break-ins over the plast couple of weeks have kept Masterton businesses, Ziggy’s Glass and Ewen Glass, busier than normal.

Last week a Times-Age employee’s car was broken into outside the office and some of her personal belongings taken. When she took her car in for repair at Ziggy’s Glass, she found it was a common complaint.

Car windows have taken a hammering from thieves, usually the quarter glass section being the target.

Ziggy’s Glass owner Simon O’Donoghue said his crew had 10 quarter glass replacements to do in the past two weeks, all of which the car owner said were needed because of a break-in.

“There has been an influx of this lately, but car break-in patterns come and go,” O’Donoghue said.

“The ones that break the glass have a total disrespect for other people’s property.”

Some of the victims don’t have glass insurance for their vehicle so not only have they been robbed of personal items, they have to pay for the damage done, he said, saying that paint work around the glass was often scratched at the time of the break-in.

Glass for car bodies is sourced from Christchurch or Auckland.

It takes at least 24-hours for the replacement glass to be ordered and delivered, and any insurance claim done before a glass company can fully secure the car. If the damage is done on a Friday, the car owner can be waiting for a few days.

Owner of Ewen Glass Peter Ewen has been in the business for over 30 years and has also experienced an increase of vehicle glass repairs because of break-ins. He agrees there has been a “bad run” of it lately.

During the school holidays it had spiked, and one client was told police identified a couple of teenagers who had done at least one of the break-ins.

He said two elderly women customers found the break-ins and thefts particularly upsetting.

“It does cause stress and inconvenience,” Ewen said. “The young ones doing this cause quite a bit of trouble really.

“It affects people’s lives quite dramatically because their car is unusable while being repaired and before the glass arrives a temporary fix does not secure the vehicle.”

A long-time employee at Ewen Glass said children breaking into cars is an ongoing problem in Masterton. She said nothing changes to curb the behaviour because the break-ins are often done by minors.

A few years ago a nine-year-old boy smashed 11 cars in Solway but to her knowledge there were no consequences. Parents should be supervising their children better, and police should take action to deter teenagers from doing it, she said.

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