Be vigilant with valuables, say police

By Sam Hurley, Lawrence Gullery

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Daniel Allen will be keeping his boat, Back In Two, secure at his Hastings home after it was taken from his property last week and recovered by police. Photo / Duncan Brown
Daniel Allen will be keeping his boat, Back In Two, secure at his Hastings home after it was taken from his property last week and recovered by police. Photo / Duncan Brown

A Hastings man is backing police calls for owners of boats, bikes and trailers to secure their property after his $42,000 boat was taken from his home one evening last week as his family slept inside.

Daniel Allen had his boat on a trailer parked next to his Evenden Rd home when thieves backed up a car, hooked up the trailer and drove off with it on Tuesday night.

Local residents have also helped capture an alleged pair of Taradale burglars.

Police searched a property in Bridge Pa on Wednesday and found the boat hidden under a cover in the backyard. A 32-year-old man has been charged with burglary and was due to appear in the Hastings District Court this week. Mr Allen said he was grateful the police had found the boat quickly and he would take measures to make sure the prized vessel was secured.

"I didn't really notice it was missing until about 10am the next morning. They (offenders) must have got through the gate and down to our property.

They've hooked it up and drove off.

"The police did a fantastic job, they had the boat back within a day."

Hawke's Bay Law Enforcement Team Detective Sergeant Jason Crowe said the theft was a prime example of how "desirable" items like boats, trailers and motorbikes were an easy target for thieves.

"If you own anything like this you need to be extra vigilant about security. Anything that can be towed or easily moved is high on the list for thieves and burglars. Make sure your boat or your trailer is properly secured and preferably, they should be stored out of sight.

"Don't make it easy for thieves and don't give them any opportunities to steal from you."

Receivers of stolen property were on the police radar and people should report any suspicious behaviour in their neighbourhood which may be connected to burglary or receiving.

"Receivers play a big part in the burglary circle. If there was no market for stolen goods, theoretically there would be no burglaries. So we are just as keen to find receivers of stolen property as we are burglars."

Meanwhile, local residents helped catch two burglars who were allegedly involved in 10 burglaries throughout the Taradale area over recent weeks.

The two men, aged 23 and 25, are from Palmerston North and Feilding and were living in the suburb at the time of the burglaries. Police said they were "respectable looking", well-dressed and polite.

"They would often knock on doors claiming they had kicked a ball over the fence and would ask to go into a backyard to look for it. A few days later, the house would be burgled," said Mr Crowe.

When they came across an empty house, they allegedly smashed a window with tools or other items they found lying around the backyard. He said information from the public had helped police identify the two.

"It was a great team effort by local residents and police. We encourage anyone who notices anything suspicious in their neighbourhood to ring police immediately," Mr Crowe said.

Mr Crowe said the burglary spree was a wake-up call for Taradale residents.

"There are several lessons that residents can learn from this. Don't leave things like garden tools or equipment lying around outside and make sure your valuables, especially electronics, are not easily seen from windows.

"If someone calls at your door with any kind of story about lost balls, lost dogs, or wanting to use the phone, etc, don't let them inside the house. Ring police immediately if your suspicions are aroused."

The two men appeared in the Napier District Court last week and were remanded in custody until this week. They were jointly charged with ten burglaries and police said more charges are likely.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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