Power tools and boating equipment worth close to $100,000, stolen from coastal properties around Northland, have been recovered by police.
The Tactical Crime Unit in Whangarei executed warrants at three houses on Western Hills Drive, Great North Rd in Kamo and in Wellingtons Bay/Whangaumu this week and recovered the stolen items, including 10 outboard motors.
Three men aged 19 and an 18-year-old men have been arrested and have already appeared in the Whangarei District Court on burglary charges.
A 4m aluminium dinghy, hand tools such as grinders, and fishing gear such as nets and rods, were among items stolen from 12 properties, primarily baches and building sites along the coast, since September. With the help of Trade Me, police also identified a number of other outboards that have been sold on.
Thieves targeted boats, boat sheds and building sites in Whangarei Heads and coastal areas further north, including Oakura. A couple of properties in Russell and Rawhiti were also burgled. Police are keen for property owners who have had their items stolen in the past three months to come forward and claim them.
Officer-in-charge Constable Andy Hunter said the total figure of stolen items would come close to $100,000 by the time the outboard engines and power tools were added up.
Police have managed to identify half the items and have returned about one-third of the stolen items to their owners, including a grateful contractor.
He said police managed to track down the accused men through Facebook posts and victims identifying their stolen property, which was being sold on Trade Me.
Mr Hunter said it appeared the alleged thieves were just cruising around looking for easy targets to rip-off.
"It's a good reminder to everyone to keep a good watch over high-value items like boats and construction tools and to ensure they are securely locked away and are out of sight."
Those wishing to claim their stolen items should contact Mr Hunter on either mobile ph 021 191 5860 or email AHAI34@police.govt.nz
Dylan Christie, 19, Matthew McKenzie, 19, Ethan Daniel Poole, 19, and Robert Samuel Hales, 18, have appeared in court on two charges each of burglary.
All are on bail to re-appear on January 25.