Thieves targeting isolated rural properties

Police have a number of reports of thefts from isolated rural properties. Photo / Warren Buckland

Thieves have been targeting isolated rural properties in the Tararua District, and police are warning farmers to be more vigilant.

Tararua response manager Dave Fraser said there had been a run of burglaries reported in the area, and it appeared the thieves were driving a long way to do so.

“They’re targeting quite isolated farms out in the likes of Waitahora and Mangatainoka,” he said.

Items stolen include farm equipment and vehicles, and it was unknown whether they were being stolen to order.

It was not the first time police had warned of thefts from rural properties, as there was a spate of burglaries involving equipment and fuel late last year.

Fraser said the middle of the night seemed to be the time when many of those committing the burglaries were operating.

He said if anyone saw any suspicious vehicles, especially in the early hours of the morning, to take down the registration number and report it to the police.

Police were also asking all farmers to be more vigilant when securing their properties by locking up their vehicles and equipment and making sure they were well-secured.

Fraser said it was just as important to secure a property even if it was several kilometers away from the main highway.

“There’s no safety in the fact they’re isolated,” he said.

Police recommend taking extra measures to deter thieves by making the property look uninviting by either locking gates or ensuring the property isn’t as easy to access from the road.

They also wanted farmers to remember that it was not just the money it would take to replace any stolen items.

“It’s the inconvenience that goes with having your property stolen,” Fraser said.

There was also the emotional impact.

“It’s a terrible feeling when someone’s been on your property.”

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