Facebook hunt for Masterton bike burglar

By Amie Hickland amie.hickland@age.co.nz

A Masterton business has turned to social media in an effort to catch a burglar who took a motorcycle worth over $6500.

Grant Langlands, of Langlands Honda Motorcycles, said security footage showed the burglar going into the premises at 4.17am on Wednesday and taking a red Honda CRF450X dirt bike, then driving off in a white Toyota Hiace van.

A picture of the burglar from security camera footage was posted on the business' Facebook page, with a $1000 reward offered for information leading to the recovery of the motorcycle. The image had been shared more than 1000 times yesterday, and Mr Langlands expected many more people would have seen it.

"The easiest way to catch a thief is to put it into their medium and let their peers judge them and dob them in," he said.

Mr Langlands said the online image had attracted at least 150 comments: "We've had very positive feedback with the identity of the perpetrator."

He said the reward would be paid out once the thief had been caught.

Wairarapa CIB Detective Sergeant Tracey Calder yesterday said the offender allegedly entered the locked store through the front door and walked out with the red motorcycle. "We are appealing to anyone who may have seen anyone suspicious in the vicinity of Chapel St early yesterday morning, or a light-coloured van parked outside Langlands Motorcycles between 4am and 5.30am," she said.

Senior Sergeant Carolyn Watson said she was aware the image was online.

"Police are aware that changes in technology mean that social networking is a tool that can be used to identify people and we hope that somebody may recognise him."

Contact Wairarapa Police on (06) 370-0300 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.


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