Free jour­ney the goal for car thieves

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - JAMES PAUL

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.’’

PHOTO: JAMES PAUL

Porirua Se­nior Con­sta­ble Si­mon By­gate said of­fend­ers in the Kapiti-Mana re­gion have a habit of steal­ing cars just to get to neigh­bour­ing sub­urbs.

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