Whakatāne car thefts stymied by help from public – burglaries solved in process

As stated by Senior Sergeant Helen Hay, Area Prevention Manager Whakatāne:

Thanks to good work by members of the public, Police have arrested a group of offenders who were disturbed breaking into a car in an attempt to steal it on Tuesday 2 August.

A number of enquiries have shown that the young persons who were arrested are responsible for the spate of recent burglaries in the area, including Renshaws Jewellers, Appenzell Dairy, Edgecumbe Central Dairy, Matatā General Store and Salt Air Surf.

As a result two young people, aged 17, will appear in Whakatāne Youth Court facing multiple separate charges including eight unlawful takings, and attempted unlawful takings of motor vehicles, six burglaries, one wilful damage and one failing to stop.

Police have also arrested a 19-year-old, and an 18-year-old and they will be charged with attempted unlawful taking.

Police are committed to actively investigating crime and holding offenders to account.

We are very grateful for the help of the public on this occasion, who disturbed the offenders and called Police.

Often cars are stolen to be used in burglaries and for committing other offences. In some cases Mazda Demios and Toyota Aquas are the target vehicle as they are easy to break into and steal.

We urge people to take preventative measures in order to stop their cars being stolen, such as locking and parking their vehicles off the road, using steering locks and or engine immobilisers.

In addition, please ensure valuables and credit cards are removed from vehicles at night, particularly if cars are parked in the open.

The best option still remains having your vehicle in a garage if possible.

Anyone that sees suspicious activity around vehicles can call Police on 111 if it’s happening or 105 after the fact, or call anonymously via Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.

You can also make a Crime Stoppers report online at www.crimestoppers-nz.org

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