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Burglar offers ‘consultancy services’

Generally, the term “consultancy fees” prompts us to think of trained and qualified professionals who charge companies, organisations or individuals for advice on, or management of, specific projects or tasks.

It may surprise some that there also exist consultants and fee-paying customers in the ‘business’ of burglary.

Take the case of “Murray” (name changed), a teenager who compiles portfolios for burglars in some of the eastern suburbs of the City District.

He admits that he learnt many of his trade tricks from films, television programmes and Google and then “applies his science” to his preferred operating area by observing, assessing and recording activities at potential properties.

Area ‘Survey’

By his own admission, to the Glen Innes Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT), he records car registrations, notes where they park, what times of day – or night – and for how long they are regularly absent from the property.

He also records how many residents there are, what the layout of the home is, whether there is an alarm system that requires deactivation by remote means, and whether windows and large glass doors are double-glazed.

Constable Maddie Roberts said that he provides information about properties only in wealthy areas.

“Dogs on properties are given a hefty taste of cannabis via a slab of steak. ‘Staff’ are instructed to dress in smart clothes and wear backpacks to give the impression they are students. He even arranges for trucks to be on site to remove stolen property,” she said.

These “confessions of a business burglar” came to light recently after a commercial premise was targeted three times in quick succession and the previously unknown offender’s image was captured on CCTV.

“Almost by accident Police identified him and, when we went to speak with him, he chose to share his stories with us,” she said.

“Murray is a bright person, who has a talent for gathering intelligence, making it operational and making money out of his work. Receivers are organised before the burglary happens and they are supplied on a money upfront basis.

“He will get between $400 and $500 for the latest i-phone and up to $350 for a standard 42- inch flat screen TV. However, he is at a point in his life where he has recognised that his actions have lasting impact on victims and that he is keen to be a more worthwhile citizen. We are also very keen to help him achieve his legitimate goals,” Constable Roberts said.

Target Properties

Murray said that houses obscured by walls, fences or trees/hedges; sliding doors that are easily lifted off their runners; curtains closed during the day suggesting that valuables were inside and that the owners were away and ‘flash’ cars in the driveway were all ‘attractions’ for burglars.

While Murray is on active burglary and receiving charges, Constable Roberts hopes his will to change remains intact and that his obvious entrepreneurial talents are put to good use in legal pursuits.

Noreen Hegarty is Communications Manager at the Auckland City District Police. The above, an edited version of an article that appeared in ‘City Voice,’ Auckland City District Police staff newsletter, has been published with her permission.

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