Viber Tree helps in arrest
Two thieves got more than they bargained for in Turangi - a group of residents armed with mobile phones.
The Viber Tree was started by Turangi a neighbourhood two years ago to help keep an eye on each other’s property and it proved valuable just last week.
Two Turangi teens were seen walking the River Track before jumping the back fence of a property. Turangi Police senior sergeant Tere Morunga said the pair gained access inside, but set off the alarm, so they made a run for it.
A series of quick fire texts on the Viber Tree allowed neighbours to track the teens’ movements and pass the information on to police.
‘‘The first response was from the neighbours and they came together and worked as one,’’ Morunga, said.
Residents walked up the River Track with one of the constables while another couple were strategically placed along the town side of the river.
‘‘With the limited resources I had – two officers – it was a good result in the end,’’ Morunga said.
The boys were found at the end of the River Track and were later arrested for burglary and referred to Youth Aid.
‘‘It was amazing how many members of the community turned up to help. It was a really good result.’’
Morunga hopes this event shows that the Viber Tree does work and he hopes other residential groups adopt it.
Don’t hesitate to call 111 or 0800 Crimestoppers if you see anything suspicious.
‘‘It was amazing how many turned up to help.’’
Turangi Police and Neighbourhood Support recommended the resident Viber Tree set up by Eric Wilson (far right) and his neighbours.