Please attribute to Sergeant Craig Lindstrom, Te Kuiti Police
Police advise car owners to be vigilant and take measures to prevent theft, following a series of thefts in Te Kuiti and Otorohanga.
Enquiries into the thefts have resulted in one young person being arrested and charged. The youth will appear in Hamilton Youth Court today, facing nine separate charges including burglary, unlawful taking, and attempted unlawful taking.
Police are also following-up with several other people in relation to the thefts.
Many of the recent car thefts have been by young people, with the cars being used for joy-riding. Police have serious concerns that the inexperienced drivers are putting themselves in danger, along with the other young people in the car and all road-users.
Police and partner agencies will continue to hold young offenders to account, while also supporting them on a better path away from future offending.
Sergeant Craig Lindstrom says Police are committed to actively investigating vehicle theft and holding offenders to account.
"However, Police can’t be everywhere at once and can’t deter opportunistic thieves on our own.
"We urge people to take preventative measures in order to prevent their car from being stolen."
Sergeant Lindstrom says a range of vehicles are being targeted, including utes, mid-size sedans, and smaller vehicles such as Mazda Demios
"The ignition systems in some of these smaller vehicles are not as robust as others, so once an offender gains entry to the car they can be taken relatively easily.
"They also don't have immobilisers by default - we'd recommend that anyone who owns one of these vehicles gets one installed.
"An immobiliser can cost up to $500, but if your vehicle is stolen you are likely to pay a similar amount on excess on your insurance, let alone the inconvenience of having your vehicle stolen and the associated hassle of cancelling credit cards etc.
“In addition, 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 garaged if possible.”
Police are committed to actively investigating vehicle theft and holding offenders to account.
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.
Issued by Police Media Centre