Free journey the goal for car thieves
Thieves often steal cars just to get a free ride to the next suburb, rather than some elaborate master plan.
That was a finding of Porirua police senior constable Simon Bygate when he was collating crime statistics for a Neighbourhood Watch newsletter in the Kapitit-Mana region.
Bygate noticed a trend of cars being found parked in neighbouring suburbs from their registered owners .
‘‘Quite often, we find cars that [have been broken into and used] to transport people to another suburb, they are too lazy to walk so they break into a car [and take it], and we find it in another suburb. We are talking about people who don’t have master plans.’’
The Kapiti-Mana Community Crime Prevention Team officer keeps his finger on the dark underbelly of the region’s suburbs to ensure communities keep up to date with what’s happening under their noses.
It was reported in the newsletter that about 95 crimes were recorded by local police in Pauatahanui, Whitby, Aotea, Papakowhai, Paremata, Mana, Camborne, Plimmerton, Pukerua Bay, Ranui, and Titahi Bay.
They ranged from burglaries, shoplifting, and theft from cars, to threatening behaviour, petrol drive-offs, wilful damage, and unlawfully taking cars. Last month, 78 occurrences of crime were recorded by police across the same areas. However, only 48 were recorded for May 2016. Another statistical anomaly was the ‘‘badly hit’’ Paremata Railway Station and surrounding streets.
‘‘In part, that comes down to someone going through a street, or in this particular case, the railway station and spending a couple of hours looking in car windows, trying to open doors, and breaking into cars for something that has taken their fancy.
‘‘People need to remember to leave nothing visible in cars and ensure everything is locked.’’
However, thanks to a joint effort between police and the com- munity, Bygate said some of the offenders were picked up on various crimes that were possibly linked to some of the recent occurrences.
‘‘I believe communication is a big thing; if we all communicate and keep our communities aware of what’s happening, I believe we’re helping the crime prevention strategy.’’
Porirua Senior Constable Simon Bygate said offenders in the Kapiti-Mana region have a habit of stealing cars just to get to neighbouring suburbs.