Thieves facading as workers on building sites have allegedly stolen thousands of dollars worth of tools, outdoor furniture and even a set of drums, which police have recovered after searching two Whangarei properties.
Officers searched two properties on Monday and carted multiple trailer loads of stolen property, worth tens of thousands of dollars, back to the city police station.
The stolen items included hundreds of building tools, generators, a wood splitter, nail guns, work benches, concrete drills and a mechanic's tool chest are believed to have been taken over a 10-month period.
Tactical Crime Unit Detective Sergeant Josh Lautogo said investigations were on going but it appeared thieves had been presenting as tradies, going on to sites and stealing the equipment.
"They have been brazen, driving on to sites in work gear and essentially taking high-value tools.
"It's a reminder for those working on building sites to be vigilant and check the validity of anyone coming on site or at least question them."
There had been one burglary of a building company site in Kamo which is linked.
Lautogo said officers had managed to find the rightful owners for some of the gear but said the recovery of the items highlighted the need for those working in the trades to name their tools and record serial numbers.
"I can't stress that enough. When we do search warrants and end up with an abundance of tools we are then scratching to find the owners."
He said it was also necessary to report thefts to the police and not just post about them on social media.
"If it hasn't been phoned in and reported to police it makes it pretty tough to find the owners. If people have had their gear taken they need to come in and report it, ring the crime reporting line or the 105 number."
He said while most of the thefts happened in Whangārei some of the items could be linked to Dargaville and Kerikeri.
A 33-year-old man appeared in the Whangārei District Court yesterday on a charge of entering a building in Winger Cr, Kamo, without authority and with intent to commit a crime on December 19, 2019.
Eruera Joseph Leef was remanded in custody to appear again today.
If you think some of the property held by police from their searches please contact Constable Richard Soper at Whangārei police station or email him on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are any of these items yours?