Builders in Rodney are being advised by police to securely lock away tools and equipment following a spate of building site burglaries.
Orewa Police Senior Sergeant Steve Pivac says shipping containers, in particular, are being targeted.
“A $20 lock to secure $50,000 worth of tools and equipment just does not make sense,” he says. “A set of bolt cutters is all it takes to get access.”
Sen. Sgt Pivac says police will publish a pamphlet specifically for builders next month, with advice on how to secure a site. The pamphlets will be available from local police stations.
“There are a range of products that we recommend such as locks where the shank is not accessible, as well as some strategies to make it as difficult as possible for the offenders. Any disruption that can be put in place can go a long way to deterring thieves.
“However, it is very difficult to stop a determined offender so selected DNA marking can help us trace tools.”
Richard Denton, of RD Construction, and his workers, recently had a large amount of tools taken from a job at Glorit.
“The thieves broke into an American-style barn that was totally secure,” he said. “It looks like they removed a skylight and lowered a child on a rope through the hole and he has then unlocked the roller doors. It just shows you the extremes that these thieves are prepared to go to.”
Wellsford Sgt Geoff Medland says forensic specialists attended the scene.
“They are probably more skilled than station officers in collecting blood, tyre tracks and finger print evidence,” he says.
“They got some quality prints from the roof and we are following a line of investigation.
“It’s worth pointing out that crime rates in the Wellsford area are low, primarily because of the prevention work that local police do. We live in these communities and we care very much about what’s going on.”
Richard says the insurance only paid out on 70 per cent of the value of the tools.
“I’d really advise other builders to either take their tools home or make sure they are securely locked down.”
Sen. Sgt Pivac says stolen tools are being sold on the black market to feed addictions such as methamphetamine.