Firearms theft seeing a surge
Ten firearms stolen from a Matamata property over Easter weekend were the latest in a string a thefts that have seen more than 75 guns stolen around the Waikato.
Detective Sergeant Andrew Mortimore of the Waikato Tactical Crime Unit said there had been about 17 firearm- related burglaries in the region this year.
Illegally obtained firearms had become sought after commodities, Mortimore said.
The most recent burglary follows two similar incidents a week before, when two homes in Aria were targeted, police said.
‘‘ Other areas affected include properties in Raglan, Te Kauwhata, Kihikihi, Glenn Massey, Waitoa, Kaihere, Waihou, Waharoa, Matamata, Thames and Te Puninga and three burglaries in Hamilton.
‘‘So far the greatest number taken from one address was the 10 from Matamata.’’
Mortimore said all too often police investigating drug and dishonesty-related offences were recovering firearms.
‘‘It’s not very often now that we search an address linked to illegal activity that we don’t recover firearms in offenders’ possession.’’
Mortimore said while the main focusis to find the offenders responsible, officers would work closely with the District Firearms Officer to ensure firearms owners have been securing their weapons according to their license requirements.
‘‘Good security and discretion are two key ingredients in keeping yourself, your family and your community safe in terms of firearms safety.’’