Warning after whitebait huts raided by thieves

There are around 660 whitebait stands in Southland, several on the Aparima River.
There are around 660 whitebait stands in Southland, several on the Aparima River. Photo: ODT files
Whitebaiters on the Aparima River are being urged to secure their huts and valuables following a spate of burglaries this month.

Constable Daryl Williams, of Riverton Police, said there were about 165 huts and stands on both sides of the Aparima River, on a 3km span from the mouth of the Jacob’s River estuary.

He said burglaries had occurred at some of the huts between July 9 and 16.

Items taken so far included small easily consumable items such as kitchen utensils, grocery items, tools and fishing gear, through to larger more expensive items such as vehicle batteries, solar inverter batteries, gas cookers and pot belly stoves.

"Many of the huts were well secured.

"However, it appears that the offender(s) were well equipped and determined, rather than simply opportunistic."

As the upcoming season approached, many whitebaiters would be returning to their huts and stands to prepare their sites, he said.

"Police would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone to safely secure items of value to try and discourage this type of dishonest offending.

"We continue to urge whitebaiters to be extra vigilant with their valuable equipment.

"It is important that all valuables are removed from huts, particularly at weekends and during off-season periods.

"At a minimum, make sure huts are left locked."

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