Police break burglary rings - more arrests expected

By Peter de Graaf

Burglary rings have been busted in Kaitaia and Hokianga.
Burglary rings have been busted in Kaitaia and Hokianga.

A new policing team aimed at nipping crime in the bud appears to be paying off with burglary rings busted in Kaitaia and Hokianga in the past two weeks.

The Mid and Far North area prevention team pulls together five police constables from Kaitaia, Kaikohe and the Bay of Islands. Unlike other police teams they can be assembled and deployed at short notice, with their shifts and locations changed day-to-day depending on need or the latest crime hotspots.

Senior Sergeant Chris McLellan said in its first week the team had arrested two Kaitaia men, a youth and a 21-year-old, responsible for a spate of break-ins. The 21-year-old was facing 10 charges of burglary as well as other dishonesty offences.

The team followed that up last week with the arrests of two members of a group burgling homes in the Omapere area.

The ringleader, a 22-year-old living in Dargaville, was being held in custody while a 17-year-old was on 24-hour curfew at his home in Kaikohe. Charges included burglary, unlawfully taking a motor vehicle, and possession of instruments for taking the drug methamphetamine.

Mr McLellan said the new team and Rawene police were tracking down the group's remaining members. Some of the stolen property had been recovered in a search of two properties, including a motorbike located in Kerikeri.

The team's members have been redeployed from other policing areas as part of a shift to more proactive policing rather than simply reacting to crime.

- Northern Advocate

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