The task force named ‘Operation Gardner’, directly targeted known burglars and dishonesty offenders as well as the illicit use of methamphetamine.
“The increase in burglaries was not specific to townships but was also impacting on rural areas. The biggest increase in the type of item being taken from these burglaries was motorcycles and ATVs,” says Detective Sergeant Dean Cadwallader from the Wairarapa Tactical Crime Unit.
Police believe these motorcycles were being quickly disguised and sold on out of the area.
“Unless we receive information very quickly about these vehicles and their location after being stolen the odds of us recovering them reduce significantly”.
“The public circulating their losses through their own social media has been extremely helpful in spreading the word quickly”.
“I would advocate that the public, if they have images of their stolen property use Facebook and other similar sites to put their gear out there, the responses we get from this type of media circulation are increasing and are closing-off opportunities for the thieves to on-sell the goods,” Says Detective Sergeant Dean Cadwallader.
The operation has confirmed some links between meth use and burglary. A number of the offenders who have been charged were found to be using meth and using their criminal proceeds to buy more drugs.
Staff on the operation have been dedicated to reducing crime in the community and having a positive impact on the increasing burglaries. They have worked long hours and have achieved good results recovering significant amounts of property and arresting the right people.
“Burglaries have significantly reduced over this period but we are well aware this will not fix the problem. We will continue to pursue these offenders by whatever means we have available, and just so they know… we have some means…”
Over the last two weeks there have been 23 arrests directly linked to the operation.
Several search warrants throughout the Wairarapa aimed at organised crime reduction have been executed recovering both drug, drug utensils and stolen property.
Five stolen motorcycles, all trail bikes of various engine sizes, a scrub saw, dive gear, fishing gear and camping gear have been recovered and identified from burglaries.
Police also recovered a large amount of power tools including Makita, Stanley and Hitachi brands as well as a large De Walt drop saw. These items, yet to be identified, are believed to be stolen but have not been linked to any crimes at this time. Photos of these items will be placed on the Wellington Police Facebook page next week in the hope someone will identify them.
Ten burglaries have so far been resolved and it is expected more will follow.
Of the people charged, nine charges of burglary and seven receiving stolen property charges have been laid. Enquiries are continuing and further charges will be laid. Two of these burglaries have been resolved with the assistance of the public notifying Police of suspicious activity.
“We ask that people remain vigilant and continue to report suspicious activity – a simple phone call or email can make a significant difference to future crime if we can get to the offender quickly,’ says Detective Sergeant Cadwallader.
The public can assist Police by continuing to secure their properties, recording serial numbers and photographing identifiable features of valuable items.
Police ask that anyone with information which will assist police with property or drug crime to contact the Wairarapa Police or speak to any of our staff who will record your information anonymously.
Area Commander for Wairarapa Inspector Donna Howard is extremely pleased with the results. “These good results are down to great work by our staff with the assistance and information from members of the community. We couldn’t do it without their help.”
“Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 is a valuable anonymous tool to report crime and we encourage people to use this too, she says.”
Police wish those addicted to drugs to seek help. Families and friends can help those in need by getting in touch with our local services Te Hauora Runanga O Wairarapa 0800 666 6744 or Alcohol Drug Helpline on 0800 787797.
Issued by Police Media Centre