Foiling burglars

There has been a sharp spike in the number of home burglaries over recent weeks, says Hamilton Police.

Senior Sergeant Rod Carpinter said many of these could have been prevented.

“Over the weekend following ANZAC Day there were 78 burglaries in Hamilton*, over the following
week thanks to a number of arrests this number had fallen to 33 but is still too high.

“In many of the incidents occupants of the address had not taken adequate steps to protect their
home, by that we mean they went out on the town leaving a door or window unsecured so they could
get back in or left laptop computers within arms reach by open windows.”

Mr Carpenter said it wasn’t all bad news however with a number of arrests coming about after
neighbours with good situational awareness noticed persons or vehicles acting suspiciously and
phoned 111 with accurate descriptions of offenders and vehicles.

“It’s really crucial that if you notice something amiss that you relay that information to police as quickly
and accurately as possible and the best way to do this is by ringing 111. Sometimes observers have
even been able to take photographs of offenders which have proven invaluable…”

Another trend is thieves stealing the keys to victims’ vehicles and either using their
car to make off with stolen goods or returning to the victim’s home at a later date in the stolen car.

“Residents who are going out or heading away are advised to secure their vehicle keys away, or have
a reliable person look after them.

“Neighbourhood Support group members can help police deliver the message to the unconverted by
speaking to friends and families about the risks and about some simple but effective ways to deal with

Mr Carpenter said too often people adopted an attitude of she’ll be right- it’ll never happen to me
where as the reality is offenders aren’t too fussy, if they see an open door or window they will strike.

Security tips include:

· Ensure your windows and door are locked at night and when your home is unoccupied
· If you have an alarm, make sure you set it and use it
· If you have security lights, make sure that they are working – especially at the back area of
your property
· Know your neighbours – if you are going away, ask your neighbour to keep an eye on your
place and report any suspicious behaviour – especially at night – by phoning police on 111
· Watch for suspicious cars or persons in your street – especially in and around alleyways. Take
their registration numbers or any identifiable features and report to police
· Use initiatives such as ‘SNAP’ ( and ‘Selecta dna’ (see your local BNZ
bank) to record all your valuable items.
· Secure away keys to vehicles not in use
· Don’t leave valuables in arms reach near open doors or windows
· If in rented accommodation, ensure you know who has access to the keys and if there has
been a recent change in tenants, speak to your landlord about getting the locks changed.

*N8N has asked for figures for rural areas north-east of Hamilton and has been told this requires an Official Information Act request which will be lodged once I’ve had a cup of tea. Watch this space.

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Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

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