Sam Boyer

Sam Boyer is a police reporter for the NZ Herald.

Police catch daylight burglar

One of two alleged daylight burglars caught on CCTV footage breaking into a South Auckland home has been caught, after being recognised by police.

Korie Preston, 17, was arrested on Tuesday for the February 24 burglary of a Weymouth family home the fourth burglary of the home in 18 months.

Despite the Ashleys having turned their home into a "fortress" following three burglaries in late 2012, two brazen burglars ignored the five security cameras around the property and busted in the Ashleys front door.

Police allege Preston, who lives locally, was one of the two crooks involved in the Blanes Rd burglary. They are still searching for his accomplice.

Tracey Kelly said yesterday it was a relief to know someone had been charged, but that hadn't stopped the family further fortifying their home.

"We've got three more cameras up now. And we've invested in a guard dog from the SPCA."

Their 10-year-old daughter Zara had been frightened by the burglaries, but the dog had help, Mrs Kelly said.

"The dog is awesome, she barks when people turn up that she doesn't know in the drive way. Zara is more than happy ... she feels more comfortable with it. She was really quite scared."

They've also received additional help from Victim Support, who have agreed to install a security grill over a glass ranch slider and have given them a DNA marking kit, which tags your valuables with tiny personalised data that can be traced.

The Ashleys also received support from Victim Support and police following the three burglaries in 2012, including a grant that enabled them to install dead locks on the doors and window locks. The Ashleys then purchased their initial five cameras.

Those cameras provided footage of the two males committing the February burglary, which led to Preston being identified by police members in the Manurewa tactical crime unit.

Detective Sergeant Gareth Brown said the arrest should provide reassurance to the victims and the community.

"Unfortunately the brazen offenders appeared to have no regard for other people's property and were highly motivated to commit crime.

"While the security prevention measures they implemented on this occasion did not prevent the burglary, they directly assisted the police investigation to apprehend the offender."

Preston appeared in the Manukau district court on Wednesday charged with burglary. He is scheduled to reappear next month.

- NZ Herald

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