Vigilance bags burglars, and stolen goods
A van load of stolen property has been recovered by police thanks to the actions of a vigilant neighbour.
Last Tuesday police stopped five local men in a white Toyota Hiace van at the bottom of Whitford Brown Ave, and found 70 items of stolen goods inside.
Police had acted on a tipoff from a man in Thimble Ln, Whitby, who saw his neighbour’s house being robbed just after 3pm.
The man called police while continuing to observe the burglars, and his information led to the men’s arrest.
Detective Sergeant Steve Dunn attributes the arrests to the neighbour’s vigilance.
‘‘When we do have an active burglary team, we do need the help of the community. They’re the eyes and ears of the police,’’ he says.
Items found in the van include two flat-screen televisions, a mountain bike, a PlayStation 3, a marine radio, jewellery, watches, mobile phones, cameras and video cameras, a set of knives, and smaller items like bags and aftershave.
Police are still seeking owners of the stolen goods, and urge the public to call if they think an item might be theirs.
The stolen goods are from different houses in Porirua and possibly from further afield, as the burglars were operating throughout the Wellington region, Mr Dunn says.
There has been a spike in the number of burglaries in Porirua recently, but many of the incidents could be attributed to these five arrested men, including recent burglaries in Plimmerton, he says.
The arrested men will appear at Porirua District Court today.
Wealthy suburbs tend to be targeted during the day, as burglars know homeowners will be at work.
Residents should not panic, as levels of burglary are relatively low in Porirua. However, he advises people to note serial numbers on their electronic equipment, and to photograph their jewellery and valuable possessions, as these actions will assist police if stolen items are recovered.
If people see suspicious activity on their street, he urges them to phone police.
‘‘Better safe than sorry.’’
Dunn ’ Detective Sergeant Steve Is this yours?: These stolen items are waiting for owners to identify them after being recovered last week. Contact Constable Damian Parker, burglary response officer, 232 1400.