Burgled 5 times

By Staff reporter, Brendan Manning


A Gonville couple have been hit five times by thieves over the past nine years - and are now nervous about replacing the items that were stolen in the latest burglary.

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

The woman said the thieves entered through a window while the couple were away for the weekend earlier this month. They went through drawers, stole a television, laptop, their latest whitebait catch and all the meat in the deepfreeze.

"We don't have much and we're old people," she said.

The latest burglary is another inconvenience of time. It has also cost them $400 in insurance excess and $600 for an alarm.

But it was losing five years of their personal pictures and documents on the laptop that is an added hardship for the couple.

Nine years ago thieves came on to the property and stole a chainsaw and lawnmower, as well as fishing rods that were leaning against the house by the back door.

In another burglary, the woman and her daughter were asleep in the house between 11pm and 2am while her husband was in his workshop. The back door was unlocked.

The thieves took the car keys off the key holder and walked through the house, taking items. But it was not until three days later the woman noticed the money jar that was in her bedroom had been taken.

"That shook me, to think they came into my room while I was sleeping."

The thieves stole the couple's car and smashed it, but it was not until police arrived at 9am the next day that they realised they had been burgled.

The woman said she appreciated that Whanganui police followed up the latest incident with a letter saying they had not apprehended the thieves, and recommended they join Neighbourhood Watch.

"We hope the alarm will deter these people, we don't know what else will. We can't have a dog and leave it home alone for a weekend."

Statistics from police show burglary victims are likely to be targeted multiple times unless they take simple measures to stop opportunistic thieves.

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.

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 by 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."

Property owners are warned to keep doors and windows locked, use burglar alarms and join Neighbourhood Watch groups.

Dogs are also a good deterrent.

And 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 and maintain details of all important possessions or assets. If anything is stolen, you can retrieve your asset list details and forward them to police and your insurance company.


Reported burglaries

2011: 807 in Wanganui - 150 resolved

2010: 759 in Wanganui - 153 resolved

2011: 59,518 nationally - 9232 resolved

2010: 59,323 nationally - 8649 resolved

Source: Statistics NZ


- Wanganui Chronicle

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