Neighbours' reports of 'suspicious activity' help police catch alleged burglars

Three alleged burglars have appeared in court after members of the public reported suspicious activity in North Canterbury.

The men, aged 18, 25, and 29, appeared in the Christchurch District Court on charges including unlawfully taking a motor vehicle, possession of cannabis, burglary and breach of bail. 

They were remanded in custody to reappear over the coming days.

Senior Sergeant Stephen McDaniel said the men were disturbed on a property in Swannanoa on Wednesday morning.

"Police apprehended one man within a short period of time, but two others fled the immediate area.

"Cordons were put in place for much of the day as police teams, with the assistance of a police dog unit, worked to locate the pair."

Senior Sergeant Stephen McDaniel. Photo: File
Senior Sergeant Stephen McDaniel. Photo: File
The police presence in the area also led to the arrest of two other people on related matters, McDaniel said.

He hailed the quick reaction of local residents.

"Residents of one property had initially called police around 4.30am reporting a suspicious vehicle near their shed.

"While not able to recall the number plate, they were able to identify the colour, make, and model of the vehicle.

"They later discovered items had been taken from their shed."

Police received another call from a nearby property at 6.20am to report the same vehicle was parked across their driveway and the driver was refusing to move it.

The driver then fled on foot and a police dog unit was used to help track them.

The man was arrested about 8.20am yesterday. The second man was arrested around 10am, while the third was arrested at about 3.30pm.

Stolen chainsaws were located in the vehicle, which was also stolen, McDaniel said

"Police rely on good, quick information from the public.

“In this instance, we had received calls from locals with helpful detail such as the type of vehicle seen, and descriptions of people of interest and their direction of travel.

“When we get this information as it’s happening, it allows our staff to respond immediately and have sufficient detail and information for us to make quick arrests.”

If you see suspicious activity or a crime being committed, call 111 straight away and give the operator as much detail as possible.


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