Local police are urging residents to be more careful with their home and valuables following the latest crime spree to hit Mangawhai in recent weeks.
On August 27, an adult Maori male allegedly stole a child’s bike and attempted to steal another outside Tau Lin takeaways in Mangawhai Village. After buying and eating hot chips outside the premises the thief then pedalled off on a purple mountain bike before returning for the second bike. However he was thwarted in his attempt after being spotted by the bike’s young owner. Both bikes belong to the shop owner’s children.
Know this man? The alleged thief who stole a childs bike and attempted to take another.
Jack Boyd Drive was the scene of three thefts in late August. A 2016 Holden Colorado utility wagon and women’s wallet were stolen from two separate properties on August 28. The vehicle was found abandoned sometime later along with a paper trail of receipts from the thieves’ spending spree using the stolen bankcards. The ute has since been returned to the owner.
Between August 26 and September 7, thieves jimmied open a ranchslider latch on a bach, before taking off with a 42-inch TV, telescope and tripod, glass coffee cups, four bottles of wine, two boxes of Panadol and $25 in cash.
Occupants of a Pearson Street address were woken by their dogs on September 5 to find pieces of outdoor furniture moved around. The female occupant also says she saw a flatbed truck going up the driveway of a neighbouring property. However, the following morning the neighbours were unaware of the night time visit and reported nothing stolen.
More thefts, maybe linked
A laptop and charger of undisclosed description was stolen from a home office in Spinnaker Road on September 6, after the perpetrator found access into the house.
New resident and single mother of three young children received an unfriendly welcome to the area when her bank cards were lifted from her car parked outside her home in a quiet street off Kagan road, on the night of September 7.
Even locked cars offer little protection against determined thieves. A black leather handbag containing an iPhone 7 in a red case, drivers licence, bank cards and Mangawhai Club membership, were taken outside the Village Four Square on September 10.
Mangawhai Constable Dale Wewege says police believe a number of the thefts are linked to the same group of people.
“We also believe they have come into the area from out of town, we’re following several leads and everything is still under investigation presently,” he says. “We want to advise the community to lock all doors on cars and houses and keep valuables out of sight and in a secure location.”
Wewege also wants to encourage people to be more alert and report suspicious activity or unusual occurrences such as an open gate to a property that you know is not occupied.
“If possible, it is most important to get vehicle registration numbers as it makes our job a lot easier,” he says. “Police want to hear from the community, you’re not wasting our time by reporting things out of the ordinary. If you see anything suspicious, ring 111. Go with your gut instinct, if it doesn’t feel right, it usually isn’t.”
A cleaner found an unexpected surprise on August 31, after discovering a Pearson Street bach they went to prepare had been temporarily lived in between August 28-30. Police say the bed had been slept in, the kitchen had evidence of meal preparation and toys were left scattered on the floor. A UE Boom blue tooth speaker was also missing from the property.
“It appears an adult and at least one child had spent a few days in the property,” Constable Wewege says. “We would like to hear from anyone who knows anything about this incident.”
The tragic death of a 2-year-old girl at a Mangawhai Heads address on August 22 is still under CIB investigation and a 30-year-old man is due to appear in court charged with murder. The Focus wishes to express their deepest sympathy to the child’s family.
- REPORTING / Julia Wade