Attributable to Detective Sergeant Brent Griffiths:
Tairāwhiti Police yesterday arrested two people following several vehicle thefts and a burglary on Wednesday 26 July at a commercial premises on Makaraka Road.
During the burglary, four people allegedly used a variety of weapons to gain entry to the store. They took lollies, cigarettes and tobacco from the premises before leaving in a stolen vehicle.
Police were unable to locate those involved at the time and over the intervening weeks have seen a sharp rise in the theft of cars where offenders would break into one, abandon it and break into another.
A search warrant was executed yesterday at a rural address. An 18-year-old man was arrested and faces a number of charges including burglary, multiple counts of theft of a motor vehicle and possession of a firearm.
Police also recovered property from the address believed to be stolen property from historic burglaries in the Gisborne area.
Additionally, a hunting rifle was seized.
The 18-year-old man is due to appear in Gisborne District Court this afternoon.
A second person, a 17-year-old youth, was taken into custody in Tolaga Bay.
They also face charges of burglary and multiple counts of theft of a vehicle and are due to reappear in Gisborne Youth Court on Wednesday 6 September.
Police hope these arrests can reassure the community Police are committed to investigating and holding offenders to account.
Police are pursuing positive lines of enquiry and more arrests are likely.
That being said, car theft is often opportunistic and we’d like to encourage locals to take precautions to avoid having their vehicle targeted.
Lock your car, park in a garage if possible and don’t leave your valuables in your car. Consider installing a steering lock and alarm as these simple measures can act as a deterrent to offenders.
The community has been extremely proactive in reporting instances of theft and suspicious activity, and this has given Police the best opportunity to locate and charge offenders.
People can report any suspicious behaviour around vehicles to Police immediately on 111 if it is happening and on 105 if it has already happened.
Issued by Police Media Centre.