The Press is reporting that there was a sharp rise in “burglaries” following the quakes that hit Canterbury and Christchurch.
Reports of looting (“police staff in the city centre have clamped down on any reports of looting“) have been largely suppressed since the quakes started but it has just been confirmed that there’s been a 22% spike in burglaries (compared to a five year average) in the three weeks following the first quake on 4 Sept.
That’s a total of 322 burglaries, further adding to the misery of people who lost the security of their homes to the quakes and who are, to this day, enduring numerous aftershocks and quakes.
Keith Lynch, writing for The Press, reported Detective Senior Sergeant John Rae as saying
“A quarter of the properties hit were vacant because they were unoccupied rentals, damaged by the earthquake or the occupants were away.
Thirty-five properties (11 per cent) were targeted specifically for scrap metal, including hot water cylinders.
The high price for scrap metal, particularly copper, meant the items were easily sold on.” Read his full report here
According to the article only seventeen people have been arrested and charged with burglary or receiving scrap metal since the initial earthquake.
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