Whangarei shops hit by crime wave

By Imran Ali

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Police are investigating a string of burglaries across Whangarei city believed to have been committed by a group of youths.

At least six businesses were targeted in one night- between Friday evening and Saturday morning- but police could not say what items were stolen or whether the burglaries were linked.

Whangarei police Sergeant Howard Clement yesterday appealed to members of the public who may have seen a group of youths seen riding on the back of a white ute at the time of the burglaries.

Businesses targeted were Rebel Sports, The Warehouse Stationery and Briscoes at the Okara Shopping Centre.

The others were Harrisons' Carpet in Raumanga, Pitstop, on Water St, Spotlight on Lower Tarewa Rd and the Tikipunga Roast and Noodle Canteen.

The break-ins were discovered when the stores opened on Saturday morning.

It's understood police have obtained statements from business owners as part of their preliminary investigations and will continue inquiries today.

Northland Chamber of Commerce chief executive Tony Collins was not aware of the latest spate of burglaries but expressed disappointment.

"It's something that puts more pressure on businesses during such hard times," he said.

The Warehouse Stationery was burgled twice on December 8, 2011 and more than $4800 worth of items stolen.

Leonard Henare, was jailed for four-and-a-half years for that and other burglaries in Whangarei.

- Northern Advocate

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