Concern after firearm thefts

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Police are urging Northland firearm owners ensure their weapons are locked up.
Police are urging Northland firearm owners ensure their weapons are locked up.

Northland firearm owners are being warned to review their security and ensure their weapons are well locked up after a spate of burglaries targeting guns over the weekend.

Four shotguns, two air rifles, three firearms and ammunition were stolen in three separate burglaries in Northland during the weekend, police said.

Police are urging firearms licence holders to review their security, regardless of their remote location, following the burglaries over the long weekend.

Police said it is not yet known if the burglaries are linked, but the common denominator was the theft of firearms.

Four brand new shotguns were stolen from a residential property in Ruawai sometime Sunday and Monday. Police said the weapons may not have been stored securely, which was a concern.

Between Friday and Monday three firearms and ammunition were stolen from a gun-safe in a garage at a residential Ruatangata West property and two air rifles were also stolen from a property in Mangawhai.

The air rifles had been stored behind an office door, police said.

"Anyone who has a firearms licence is required to store them securely," said Whangarei police Senior Sergeant John Fagan.

"As well as the obvious concerns about unsecured firearms being stolen by criminals, if license holders fail to secure them they run the risk of having their licence revoked."

Police are also investigating the theft of six quad bikes from a rural property in Pouto over the long weekend, he said.

"Living in a rural and remote area does not unfortunately make you immune to theft or burglary," said Mr Fagan.

He said crime prevention advice can be found at www.police.govt.nz/advice/personal-and-community-advice/rural-hub/rural-crime-prevention.

- Anyone with information on any of the burglaries should contact Whangarei police on 09 4304500.

- Northern Advocate

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