DIRTY rotten thieves are in our neighbourhood, scouting out our streets and breaking into our homes. A burglar got into our house yesterday and would have made off with our laptop computer and other equipment if she hadn’t been disturbed.
Husband David was feeling unwell so took himself off to bed after Sunday lunch. I decided to keep him company and read a book. Around 2.20pm a car pulled up outside but no one knocked on the door. A bit unusual, I thought, and a few minutes later I heard a footfall inside the house.
I quietly got up and stood at the top of the stairs and looking right up at me was a young woman, crouching in the middle of our house trying to unplug our laptop.
I yelled at her and charged like a bull down the stairs and she bolted through the open door, with me in hot pursuit. She jumped into the car, in which was sitting a young male. They then belted down our driveway with me yelling very unsavoury and impolite words, and sped down Woodlands Rd, towards Morrinsville.
I noted the number plate and was able to describe the car; a pale blue hatchback Japanese thing to the two lovely representatives of our NZ police force who arrived not long after.
The cops were brilliant, very thorough and took all the details I could remember.
It turns out there has been a bit of criminal activity around the area. The fingerprint expert who arrived on Monday evening said there had been another incident on Valentine Rd (Tauhei) recently.
And power tools were stolen from a farm shed on Woodlands Rd in April. Michael, the farm worker, said some of the items were dumped on a neighbouring farm. He knew of two other recent incidents.
“There was one in the middle of the day down Puketaha Rd before the first of June. They made off with a TV, PlayStation and all the kid’s stuff. And another on Reid Rd that I heard about.”
He now has installed a video camera on his driveway – and we too, have reassessed and improved our home security.
Doors will be locked, even if we’re in the house or garden. We already have an alarm but we’ve just put in a camera and will install another on the driveway – to take photographs and videos of all comings and goings, which the police are very fond of receiving. We might install a gate at the end of the driveway and will be on the watch and note any suspicious activity.
And we have written down our serial numbers on various items and will upload these to Snap, an initiative of the New Zealand Police, which aims to prevent burglary. You can store serial numbers on the free website, making it harder for criminals to sell stolen goods.
In this instance, we were lucky. I startled the criminal and all she got was a fright rather than our belongings. But it could have gone differently.
Later that night we had another visit from two policemen from Morrinsville, who are clearly on to this nest of thieves and want to gather as much information as they can.
Constable Ross, unless it was Constable Peter, said it was important to ring police and that incidents sometimes don’t get reported.
“Often people think it’s too trivial, it was only a little bit suspicious but we want to know, and we need to know in order to put together a bigger picture of what’s going on.”
He urges people to ring 111 and report all and any suspicious behaviour with the operator who will pass the information on.
Useful security tips –
· Ensure your windows and doors 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
· 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 area. Take down registration numbers or any identifiable features and report to police
· Use initiatives such as Snap and SelectaDNA to record all your valuable items
· Secure away keys to vehicles not in use
· Don’t leave valuables in arm’s 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.
So, lock the doors, bolt the windows and keep a watchful eye about the place – and make the call if you see anything. Let’s chase these beggars out of our patch.