Sam Boyer

Sam Boyer is a police reporter for the NZ Herald.

Snapped: Thieves' brazen break-ins

Weymouth 'fortress' targeted four times in 18 months.

Kelly Ashley. Photo / Dean Purcell
Kelly Ashley. Photo / Dean Purcell

The Ashleys have five security cameras surrounding their home, an alarm, dead bolts on the doors and locks on all their windows.

They have turned their home into a fortress because they've been burgled four times in the past 18 months - and they're sick of it.

"I'm angry. I don't know what else we can do," Kelly Ashley said, following the most recent burglary of his South Auckland home on Monday. "I'm over it."

The latest burglary was captured by the family's security cameras, and they have given the footage to the police.

Do you know these two burglars caught on CCTV on Monday at the Ashley home in Weymouth? Photo / Dean Purcell
Do you know these two burglars caught on CCTV on Monday at the Ashley home in Weymouth? Photo / Dean Purcell

The Weymouth home was burgled three times in eight weeks around late November 2012, not long after they moved in. They got through last year without a repeat, before being hit again this week.

The family have lost cameras, mobile phones, laptops, an Xbox, a flatscreen TV, a guitar, power tools, more than $12,000 worth of jewellery, an e-reader and even meat from the freezer.

After the second burglary in 2012, they decided they needed security cameras. But while they were shopping for them, they got burgled again.

The burglars took all the electronic goods the family had only just bought after the first burglary.

"It's pretty much like a fortress, but they still get in. What else can we do? We shouldn't have to live like this," Mr Ashley said.

Video


The footage of Monday's incident shows the burglars arriving at the house and walking nonchalantly up the drive before setting to work on the front door.

A camera easily visible above the door recorded them taking turns booting in the door.

Inspector Zane Hooper, prevention manager for Counties Manukau central police, said the burglars were clearly "motivated".

"On the face of it, Mr Ashley has taken good preventive steps to secure his property, and motivated offenders, irrespective of that, have victimised him."

The 2012 burglaries were part of a spate in the neighbourhood, he said.

The Ashleys received a $2000 grant from Victim Support for deadbolts and window locks. They've also just bought three more cameras to add to their system.

But despite their extensive preventive measures, their insurance fees went up.

"Our excess went up from $250 to $2500 overnight," Tracey Ashley said. "We're out of pocket big time on this one."

Insurance and Savings Ombudsman Karen Stevens said customers burgled many times were a high risk to their insurers.

Police statistics from 2012 show that a home is 18 per cent more likely to be a targeted again after being burgled once and 33 per cent more likely if burgled twice.

Anyone who recognises the men from the CCTV footage should contact Detective Sergeant Gareth Brown on (09) 261-1300.

Police advice on how to protect your home

* Always lock up.
* Lock the front door if you're in the back garden.
* Lock away tools and ladders because burglars could use them to break in.
* Lock garden sheds and your garage if you can.
* Install sensor lights.
* Keep trees and shrubs trimmed.
* Keep windows secure.
* Don't leave house keys with your car keys when your car is being serviced.
* Never leave notes on a door stating that you are not home.
* When you go away, make sure your home looks "lived in''.

nzherald.co.nz

To see security camera footage of the burglary, visit tinyurl.com/repeatburglary.

- NZ Herald

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