Southern Police are reminding people to keep their homes and property secure after two recent burglaries in the Mataura area.
We’ve seen an amazing response from people who’ve been out helping neighbours and fellow residents after the floods, but unfortunately, some properties have been targeted by thieves while they’ve been left unattended.
While this is not out of the ordinary in terms of normal reporting, it is a timely reminder for people to think about how they can help prevent burglaries and reduce opportunities for thieves.
There have been two recent burglaries reported in the Mataura and Brydone areas as well as reports of unknown people being seen on and around rural properties in Mataura and Lumsden, who have run off when confronted.
Police urge people to take steps to prevent easy access to their property, lock and secure their homes and valuables, invest in good security and alarm systems, and engrave tools and valuables.
We also ask people out on farms repairing fences or cleaning up flood damage stay vigilant to any unusual activity, people or vehicles – if you see anything suspicious call 111 straight away.
Police have substantially increased staff and patrols in the Mataura, Gore and Wyndham areas since the evacuations, including bringing in a team from Canterbury to prevent crime and keep our communities safe, and this response will continue for the foreseeable future.
This can also be a time of high stress and fatigue for residents, farmers and workers as the full impact of the flooding sinks in.
We want people to remember to eat, rest, and take care of one another, and to reach out to the Rural Support Trust and Federated Farmers if help is needed.
Trained counsellors can also be contacted on 1737 – this is a free 27/4 phone and text service number.
Police would like to thank volunteers from Fire and Emergency NZ, Civil Defence, NZDF and local community boards for their work and support during and after the flooding event.
We also ask that if you have been a victim of crime and haven’t yet reported it to Police please so do by calling 105.
Investigations into the burglaries are ongoing, and if you have any information that can help Police call 105, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111