Warning after rise in hot water system burglaries
Police are asking the public to be on the lookout for stolen califonts/gas hot water systems for sale following a spate of burglaries targeting these items in recent weeks.
In the past three months, Police have received a dozen reports of burglaries where califonts have been stolen across Auckland, with the majority of these incidents occurring in the Counties Manukau South area.
Offenders have been targeting new housing developments and subdivisions to steal these califont systems following their installation and are believed to be on-selling these items online through social media channels such as Facebook Marketplace and other platforms.
Police have also identified evidence to suggest that many of these gas hot water systems are damaged during the thefts with the methods used in their removal, creating potential safety issues and affecting their safe use.
Acting Inspector Jono Chappell, Area Prevention Manager for Counties Manukau South, encourages all builders, developers and homeowners with califont systems to record the serial number.
“That way when the theft is reported to Police we can easily identify the owner when would be offenders attempt to on-sell the stolen hot water systems.
“We also want to remind the public that deals advertised online which appear "too good to be true”, are often cheap for a reason.
“Purchasing these items through unregulated channels such as through social media rather than reputable retailers puts your own safety at risk by using items which are potentially damaged.
“Receiving stolen property is a criminal offence and you may face prosecution,” says Acting Inspector Chappell.
Anyone with information relating to the on-selling of these califont systems or these burglaries is encouraged to phone 105 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.