'Secure' yards big target for thieves

By Roger Moroney

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VULNERABLE: The busy Onekawa industrial area in Napier was a target for burglars during the holiday season. PHOTO/FILE
VULNERABLE: The busy Onekawa industrial area in Napier was a target for burglars during the holiday season. PHOTO/FILE

The holiday season became an active season for burglars who targeted the usually busy Onekawa and Pandora industrial areas in Napier.

It was also a busy time for the areas' community constable Mike Burne, who said there were 21 burglaries reported over the December-January period compared with just six for the previous two months and just four during the 2014/15 holiday period.

"These are disproportionately high numbers to what we usually have but as usual the offenders have taken advantage of the quiet periods in the industrial area," Mr Burne said.

Burglars had not been put off by the sight of locked gates or high wire fences to several yards where vehicles were parked up.

They often went after tools and whatever else they came across inside the vehicles.

Mr Burne said in a "large proportion" of burglary reports, fences had been cut.

"I'd like to think that vehicles were safe in enclosed yards but experience tells us this is not always the case.

"Consideration needs to be given to what is left in vehicles overnight and be aware that items like tools are sought-after commodities."

Vehicles parked in "secure" yards in Thames St, Wakefield St and Cadbury Rd were targeted by thieves taking tools, batteries, diesel and in one case the canopy of a Ford Transit van.

In one incident, a stolen utility vehicle was used to ram the gate of a Humber St business with the offenders going after a jetski on a trailer.

They ignored a locking device on the trailer hitch and tried to drive it off - which ended a short way up the road when the trailer came loose.

The jetski was later recovered and inquiries led to police arresting a man in relation to the theft of the utility.

There was also an arrest in relation to the theft of a motor lower unit from a Niven St yard.

It was later recovered from a pawnbroking shop in Hastings and two people ended up facing charges.

Mr Burne said during holiday periods and overnight, industrial areas were vulnerable as there was little road and foot traffic about.

He said business owners needed to get in touch with security firms to see if having their premises checked at such times was a viable option.

There had also been two incidents where charity collection boxes were targeted for quick cash - one from a Taradale Rd retail outlet and another from a business in Dunlop Rd.

"They usually sit on the counter in a shop without any sort of fixing to prevent them being taken - check that the organisations who request you to have one of these boxes at your business have sufficient means to secure them."

On the positive side, there had been several arrests as the result of CCTV coverage.

There had been seven shoplifting incidents caught on camera and all had resulted in the offenders being identified.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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