Care urged de­spite ar­rests

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By JA­SON HOW­ELLS

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.


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