Holidays are prime time for burglars

By Brendan Manning


Don't advertise your property as a burglary target, a local cop warns.

If you're heading away on holiday, don't use Facebook to publicise the fact you will be out of town, Wairarapa Senior Sergeant Carolyn Watson said.

A total of 661 burglaries were reported in Wairarapa last year - only 84 were fully resolved.

Burglars liked easy targets, Ms Watson said. Properties that were hidden from view with trees and large fences help the burglar to hide.

Cellphones, computers and cash were among the most common items taken, Ms Watson said.

"If you're going away, get your paper stopped, tell your neighbours that you're going away and have someone check on your property."

Trimming trees to thin out hiding spots and and closing windows or installing security latches will help to keep your property safe in the upcoming summer months, she said.

Ms Watson also recommended SelectaDNA kits to make your property "high risk" for would-be thieves.

Available at BNZ banks for $85, the kits feature a synthetic DNA solution that indelibly marks items, which police can instantly identify as stolen using frontline UV-capable torches. The legal owner of stolen items also can be identified through a central database using the unique DNA markers.

Also distributed in the kits are signs and window stickers that warn burglars a forensic system is protecting your property.

Nearly 60,000 burglaries were reported to police nationwide last year, with millions of dollars in property and valuable personal effects stolen and never recovered.

Burglary victims are likely to be targeted multiple times unless they take measures to stop opportunistic thieves.

Police statistics show that a home is 18 per cent more likely to be a targeted again after being burgled once - and the likelihood of repeat burglaries increases with each crime.

If someone was burgled twice, the chances of that person being a victim again rose to 33 per cent.

If a home was broken into four times, that figure hit 50 per cent or more.

Detective Inspector Dave Lynch, the Counties Manukau district manager of criminal investigations said: "If [burglars] get into a premises and they know it's an easy target and if there isn't [security], potentially it's a bit of a sure win in terms of going back there."

Police are urging home owners to sign up to the Serial Number Action Partnership (Snap).

Snap aims to prevent property crime by making it harder to sell stolen goods in New Zealand.

The website www.snap.org.nz allows anyone to enter details of all important possessions or assets. If anything is stolen, you can retrieve asset details and forward them to police and your insurance firm.


 


Reported burglaries


2011 - 661 in Wairarapa - 84 resolved.

2010 - 678 in Wairarapa - 73 were resolved.

2011 - 59,518 nationally - 9232 resolved

2010 - 59,323 nationally - 8649 resolvedSource: Statistics NZ

- Wairarapa Times-Age

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