Thursday, 1 April 2010 - 10:46am |
National News

Job seeking burglar

2 min read

Seeking employment was the cover for a Hamilton man if he was confronted as he carried out a series of commercial daytime burglaries across the City.

Arrested a number of times over recent months the 21-year-old has been charged with breaching bail twice and for 18 burglaries.

Hamilton City Tactical Coordinator, Senior Sergeant Greg Dunn, said the man's vehicle was identified as having been at several businesses burgled during the day between 24 January and 4 February.

"He was arrested running from a church on Rifle Range Rd on 28 February and subsequently arrested again on 4 March, his methods included going into the offices of businesses when staff were busy, stealing items from handbags or lockers. If confronted he would say he was there seeking work.

"This type of behaviour mirrors that of offenders last year who claimed they on people's properties seeking their dog or the 'basketball burglar' of 2008 fame. Basically people who have a prepared explanation of why they are on your property in case they're confronted."

In all the man faced 18 charges of burglary and four for drug offences when he appeared in the in the Hamilton District Court on Monday.

But far from resting on their laurels members of Hamilton's Burglary and Tactical Response Squads had been busy tackling a group of hardened juvenile offenders.

"Members of the public may be surprised to find the age spread of this group, responsible for 22 burglaries in the Hamilton East and CBD areas since the Christmas school holidays and six unlawful takings.

"Apprehended last week the six offenders are aged between 11 and 17-years-old with all but the adult offender referred to Youth Aid for follow up action," said Mr Dunn.

Jewellery, cash, laptop computers and gaming consoles were the young thieves' commodities of choice with items stolen finding their way into the local criminal underworld.

"One of the problems we're finding in cases like this is where are the stolen items going? In terms of stolen goods far greater amounts are reported as taken than what are recovered which says to us local people are creating the market for these youngsters to operate in.

"In a case of market forces it appears locals are creating a demand but at the same time they are creating the market with items being stolen locally invariably being on sold locally."

Mr Dunn said the youths' arrest was testament to the broader multi-agency approach adopted in Hamilton where Police worked with partner agencies to assist problem families.

"This has paid off in both Enderley and Melville with the Community Policing Team, information crucial to this case only came about from these less traditional Policing methods and it's a strategy we'll be continuing.

In addition to this support new initiatives were now available for people to do something about this sort of behaviour that weren't previously available.

"With the introduction of Crimestoppers people who wouldn't normally consider speaking to Police can leave information anonymously.

"While we always prefer to speak to people directly the 0800 555111 crimeline gives residents of marginalised communities an opportunity to pass on information that wasn't previously available."