Care urged despite arrests
The days of leaving a window open as you pop out for 20 minutes are over, as many Matamata people have found out.
Over the past six months, there have been more than 80 household burglaries in Matamata and surrounding districts which police believe to be linked.
Following an investigation, three people have been arrested in relation to the burglaries.
A 30-year-old Matamata man was arrested along with two youths aged 15 and 17.
Last week a search warrant was issued at a Broadway address and a large amount of stolen property was recovered.
Televisions, Playstations, cell phones, laptops and other electronic devices were all returned to owners.
Matamata Police Sergeant Graham McGurk said what worried police was the fact that there was no pattern to the burglaries.
‘‘Some are happening during the day, some at night, some on foot and some in vehicles. All in different parts of town,’’ he said.
Houses with a window or door left unlocked were among those targeted both day and night, and in many cases, with occupants asleep in bed.
Mr McGurk said it had been a difficult investigation due to the number of burglaries continuing to happen while they had been looking for suspects.
‘‘We had so many victims come into us and many of the staff here have also been affected personally as they all know someone who has been targeted,’’ he said.
The 30-year-old man arrested, appeared in Hamilton District Court on April 1 on a bail hearing following four accounts of burglary from Matamata homes. Police opposed the bail.
The 15-year-old youth was arrested on March 28 and remanded in youth custody.
Shortly after that arrest, the 17-year-old youth was arrested in Ngaruawahia and pleaded guilty to burglary in the Morrinsville Court.
He is being April 29.
‘‘I am concerned at the fact that the age of two of the offenders would appear they were directly under the influence of older people,’’ Mr McGurk said.
‘‘We are still making further enquiries into others who may be connected and we are working to try and recover more property.’’
He hopes the arrests will put an end to the number of burglaries from Matamata homes but said he would still advise Matamata residents to be vigilant about locking doors and windows when leaving the house.