Fake trades­men bur­gling homes

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

Po­lice and prop­erty own­ers are warn­ing res­i­dents in east­ern Porirua to be wary of thieves dressed as trades­men com­ing to their doors or neigh­bour­ing va­cant houses.

One prop­erty man­ager, who did not wish to be named and has more than 80 homes in the area, says the thieves have been par­tic­u­larly brazen in the past month.

‘‘I have a house on Hamp­shire [St] that’s empty and peo­ple came and caused a lot of dam­age tak­ing cop­per and other fit­tings out of it,’’ he says.

‘‘I’ve been in the prop­erty game for 10 years but it hasn’t been as bad as this be­fore.’’

Some res­i­dents have let ‘‘trades­peo­ple’’ in their homes, who look le­git­i­mate, he says, but are re­ally there to check out where valu­ables are.

‘‘Hous­ing New Zealand are do­ing up a lot of prop­er­ties, so there are plenty of elec­tri­cians and painters out and about.

‘‘But peo­ple need to be care­ful, ask­ing for ID or ring­ing their land­lord if they’re not sure.

‘‘You have to be so care­ful these days – one lady in Here­ford St was in the shower and her very young son let these guys in.’’

De­tec­tive Peter Mid­dle­miss from Porirua po­lice says they are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the in­ci­dents.

The price of cop­per is high, mean­ing va­cant houses are be­ing hit.

‘‘We’ve also heard of young peo­ple go­ing to ad­dresses, say­ing they’re look­ing for a dog, just so they can look into houses.’’

His ad­vice is for res­i­dents to be more vig­i­lant, ask for ID, be pre­pared to take pho­tos of trades­men – le­git­i­mate work­men should not ob­ject – and ‘‘get to know your neigh­bours’’.

‘‘Go and speak to the tradies if you’re not sure and if in real doubt, call the po­lice.

‘‘The worst that can hap­pen is we check it out and it proves to be a false alarm.’’

Mr Mid­dle­miss says they will work with prop­erty man­agers to en­sure res­i­dents are more aware.

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