Belief culprit may be behind past thefts

After a spate of burglaries of Riverton whitebait huts, one owner believes the culprit could be behind previous thefts.

Police this week advised people to secure their huts and valuables following burglaries this month.

The range of items taken included kitchen utensils, grocery items, tools and fishing gear, through to larger, more expensive things such as vehicle and solar inverter
batteries, gas cookers and potbelly

Constable Daryl Williams, of Riverton, said as many of the huts were well secured, it appeared the offender or offenders had been well equipped and determined, rather than simply opportunistic.

Brian Crack has owned his hut on the river for 10 years.

In that time, he had been broken into three times, he said.

He wondered if the thieves were the same people who had targeted the huts in previous years, as they had been well equipped for
breaking into locked huts then

"About two years ago they were very well equipped. They must have had a big bar — you could see the marks around the door locks. They just ripped everything off.

"They just about did every hut right down Wilson Rd."

He checked on his hut, as well as a few of his friends’ huts, on Thursday morning but was not a victim this time, Mr Crack said.

However, a friend closer to a group of trees in Wilson Rd, was.

It seemed this area had been targeted, he said.

"I know they took all his food stuff, his utensils, and all the ropes and pulleys went. They didn’t touch the aluminium poles."

They also took a radio and other items.

Southland Whitebait Association secretary treasurer Lynette Heath also fished the Aparima River.

While she does not have a hut, she said she heard there had been break-ins.

"People’s huts have been stripped, everything in them. But the police are on to it."

Thefts happened every year, but she thought it could be worse this year.

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