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August 3, 2009 | by  | in News |
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Mt Cook residents warned to lock up

Newtown residents warned to bunker down, prepare for Thunderdome

The suburb of Mt Cook, home to a number of Victoria University students, has seen an increase in the number of intruder burglaries recently.

The increase in burglaries has local police urging residents to improve their home security. The majority of homes targeted have had no security systems in place, allowing intruders to easily slip in through unlocked doors and windows.

Community Constable Rachel Shore explained that these burglaries were taking place predominantly at night, generally while the people are home in bed.

“Our main concern is that home owners could confront the intruders and the situation has the potential to escalate,” Constable Shore said.

Student pockets are also taking a beating as iPods, laptops and game consoles are among the items targeted by the offenders. With cellphones, wallets and even alcohol on the agenda, these items are portable and not easily identified, making sale of these stolen goods quick and simple for thieves.

Concerning the reasons behind such an increase in night-time theft, Constable Baz Murfin said that police were collating evidence on suspects in relation to the recent intruder burglaries but are advising residents to boost their home security regardless.

“It’s as simple as locking your doors,” Constable Shore said.

When it comes to keeping property safe, storing items away from view and drawing the curtains reduces the temptation of theft. Recording serial numbers and marking items such as iPods by engraving or using an invisible marker allows tracking the item much easier for police.

“If the serial number is recorded, we can run it through our system. Places like Cash Converters have a similar system to us, and it makes tracking the offender easier,” says Constable Shore.

Simple actions such as introducing yourself to neighbours and, if living in an apartment complex, collecting your guests from outside are also encouraged by police to prevent strangers from becoming familiar to the area.

Residents are also encouraged to get proactive and are invited to join a Neighbourhood Support Group, which receives assistance from local police.

Students who see anything suspicious or are interested in setting up a Neighbourhood Support Group can contact Rachel Shore at Wellington Police for more information on (04) 381 2000 or Rachel.Shore@police.govt.nz.

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