Cylinders hot for burglars
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.