Raglan seen as soft target for burglaries

Raglan Surf Emporium was hit by burglars last Thursday in a smash-and-grab style robbery that has hit the town four times over the past three months.

Fallenfront, across the road from the Surf Emporium, was a target of three of the four robberies that police believe may be linked.

Owner John (JC) Clapham says Raglan is being seen as a soft target by offenders looking to quickly on-sell popular lines of street and surf clothing and other branded items.

“People are asking – what can we do as a community to stop this sort of thing happening here?”

JC was at the shop within minutes of the burglars leaving and says the offenders had left the scene around three-minutes after forcing their way in through the front doors.

“The alarm went off at 5.50am and I was in there by 6am,” he says. “A lot of people are saying to me – they must have just missed the burglars – but what are you going to do with a group of heavy guys with crowbars?”

The offenders have stolen clothing, Rip Curl watches and an amount of cash from the till drawers.

Raglan police constable, Gary Ryburn, was on-call the morning of the burglary and says CCTV footage shows two cars driving past the incident as it was happening.

“They [the offenders] were really bold going in at that time of the morning,” he says. “It’s important that the community is vigilant and reports any suspicious activity. Don’t feel like you’re wasting police time; just ring 111.”

The two cars used in the burglary were reported stolen from Huntly and were found abandoned back in Huntly later that afternoon with Raglan Surf Emporium till drawers, coat hangers and other items related to the incident.

“Police have strong lines of enquiry as to who the offenders are,” Ryburn says.

The vehicles used in the burglary are with forensics in Hamilton undergoing examination and DNA has been found on the crowbar left behind at the shop.

Although the Surf Emporium’s glass doors are made of toughened glass, the offenders have used a crowbar to pry the glass way from the frame.

Ryburn says local businesses selling similar items need to look at their security measures and suggests internal roller doors and high-quality security cameras.

“The incident at Soul Shoes last year was solved very quickly because their cameras were able to capture a good image of the female offender who as apprehended in Hamilton several days later.”

Police are appealing for anyone with information to contact police on 07 858 6200 or anonymously at Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Janine Jackson