Cylin­ders hot for bur­glars

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

Gung ho bur­glars in Toko­roa are keen on steal­ing hot wa­ter cylin­ders de­spite the po­ten­tially lifethreat­en­ing re­moval process.

Se­nior Sergeant Graeme Hill said cop­per cylin­ders in va­cant homes were the tar­get of a large por­tion of the past year’s bur­glar­ies. But he said it’s a risky process. ‘‘I would not want to be in a dark place do­ing what they do with the likes of a 240-volt power sup­ply there.’’

Toko­roa po­lice dealt with 31 bur­glar­ies in Septem­ber – an av­er­age of one a day.

"For a small town like Toko­roa that’s a lot," Mr Hill said.

How­ever, the num­ber of bur­glar­ies has been on a down­ward trend, with a 40 per cent drop since Septem­ber 2011.

Mr Hill said the thrill-seek­ing crim­i­nals are not shy to en­ter an oc­cu­pied prop­erty ei­ther.

Two re­cent bur­glar­ies on Roslin and Bel­mont streets both oc­curred while the el­derly oc­cu­pants were asleep in bed, he said.

‘‘Both par­ties ap­pear to have in­ad­ver­tently left their premises open and op­por­tunists have come along. ‘‘Re­ally peo­ple need to lock their prop­erty.’’ Mr Hill said se­cu­rity is im­por­tant be­cause it is not al­ways about the money.

‘‘We had one bur­glary where they just took the un­der­pants of the fe­male occupant. To me that is a red flag for other of­fend­ing.’’

And bank­ing on hav­ing prop­erty re­turned is usu­ally out of the ques­tion.

Only 18 per cent of bur­glar­ies in the Bay of Plenty were re­solved in the year end­ing June 2013 – only slightly higher than the na­tional av­er­age of 15 per cent.

As sum­mer ap­proaches Mr Hill warns res­i­dents to la­bel their valu­ables for iden­ti­fi­ca­tion pur­poses.

‘‘ Most peo­ple have doc­u­men­ta­tion of what they’ve bought and we want proof of own­er­ship [if it is stolen]. We are get­ting tighter on that and so are insurance com­pa­nies,’’ Mr Hill said.

The down­ward trend in bur­glary sta­tis­tics comes in line with fall­ing crime in the Bay of Plenty po­lice dis­trict.

Recorded crime dropped by 3.5 per cent dur­ing the past fis­cal year.

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