Auckland police are issuing strong warnings to Asian nationals living in Auckland because burglars are specifically seeking out their homes to rob, often whilst they are at home.
It’s got so bad that they’ve been told to remove any outward signs of their ethnicity, or religion, which is rather ironic considering most of them believe the ‘safe, low crime in NZ‘ hype and emigrate to the country to escape crimes like these:
“Police are now issuing strong warnings to Auckland’s Asian community .
“A number of burglaries are committed at homes where there are obvious signs that the occupants are South Asians,” says South East Asian liaison officer Constable Gurpreet Arora.
Mr Arora suggests Asian families consider removing items identifying their ethnicity from outside their homes, such as flags from their homelands.
“Burglars are very well aware of the fact that South Asian communities tend to keep considerable amounts of cash and jewellery at home,” he says.
“Religious signs, personalised plates on vehicles, putting lights on the outside of the house at night on occasions like Diwali, are some of the signs to burglars.”
Mr Arora says the criminal fraternity is well aware jewellery is kept by many Indian families in the master bedroom…”
The article in The Aucklander uses the example of the Mizra family that has been forced to barricade themselves into their own home:
Fear has robbed an Auckland Indian family of enjoying their home. When there, they barricade themselves in with deadbolts, light sensors and elaborate alarms covering individual rooms.
The beefed-up security is the result of an audacious burglary – just one wall away from where the family sat watching a big rugby match.
For the Mirza family, the brazen grab was one of the most harrowing experiences they have endured. They still tread carefully around the house in fear of what might be lurking behind the curtains.
…The intruder entered [the bedroom} at the Mirza family home before rifling through their belongings and making off with thousands of dollars worth of jewellery, travellers’ cheques and money.
Nasir Mirza says his wife Mairajm got up from watching the rugby game to discover the bedroom door locked in September 2009. “When she tried to open it, she found it was jammed. Immediately she screamed ‘we’ve been robbed’.”
The Aucklander has spoken to several other Indian families that have also been targeted and they know of many others in the community.
One suffered the shattering indignity of being burgled while the family were attending her father’s funeral early this year.
Mrs Mirza knew she had been robbed before seeing anything missing because a community constable had warned of a similar “modus operandi” by burglars.
“One of the boys ran around the house to see if someone was there,” says her distraught husband.
“We were all running in different directions. At first we could not see anything amiss until I discovered the dressing table drawer on the lawn.”
The thieves were interested only in cash and jewellery. They found what they were looking for in the right drawer and picked up a briefcase from the walk-in wardrobe and left.
“We didn’t realise it then but the trauma had just started. We had never been burgled before in 10 years of living in Auckland.
“Fear crept in when we realised someone had been in the house while we were in it. The harrowing experience left an indelible mark and the ‘fear of the unknown’.
“It prevented us from going into the bedroom for months. It always felt that there was someone there behind the curtains or that someone would pop out from behind the windows.
“We spent heaps installing security stays in all the windows and ranch sliders and adding three more sensor lights around the house.
“A sectional alarm is always on in the house, especially the one in the bedroom. the section of the house we are not in is alarmed all the time. we have also had the alarm activation diverted to our mobile in case it goes off when we are not at home.”
Despite their own distressing ordeal, Mr Mirza is willing to go public to warn others:
“Indian homes are being targeted for gold and jewellery and Asian homes are targeted for cash,” says the Dannemora resident.”
The Auckland goes on to list a number of preventative measures people can take to reduce their exposure to crime but leave out the most obvious one – don’t move to crime ridden New Zealand because even the locals are finding it tough going.
Yesterday we wrote about a 93 year old grandmother who fought of an attacker who tried to force his way into her home, it wasn’t the first time she’d had to do it either – she’s be attacked before
For more about crime in New Zealand take a look at our Crime section link