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The Eastern Waikato's Police commander is crediting his Thames staff's good work after a month long operation netted three much wanted offenders, firearms, drugs and a stolen car.
Inspector Dana McDonald said the success of the operation wasn't just in the arrests and seizures but in the level of further crime being prevented.
"Earlier this month officers carried out a search warrant of a Thames address which resulted in a 29-year-old man facing nine charges in relation to firearms, cannabis, methamphetamine, cannabis oil and cannabis resin found at the address.
"Then last week, building on the information picture they have been building up, officers went to a Whiritoa address where a 42-year-old man was arrested who faces charges for manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of equipment and chemicals used in the manufacture of that drug and possession of the finished product as well."
Mr McDonald said it was then the value of intelligence based policing came to the fore.
"Building on information developed from the first property searched, members of the Thames Law Enforcement Team stopped a vehicle in Thames and arrested a 36-year-old man.
"A search of the vehicle, which had been stolen from Opotiki, revealed over 1kg of cannabis which had been packaged and labelled for sale, two firearms and some balaclavas to hide someone's identity. Arrested and charged with 13 drugs, firearms and theft of motor vehicle charges, the man will appear in the Hamilton District Court later today."
Given the quantities of drugs and equipment located and information obtained Mr McDonald said it was expected that the operation had seriously disrupted the illegal drug trade in the Eastern Waikato.
"When you consider how closely the illegal drugs trade is linked to dishonesty offending we anticipate this will also affect the number of burglaries as offenders, who steal your valuables to fund their habits, find it harder to source their illegal highs.
"The key thing now is to build on these successes and the public can help us by doing their part. Drugs are sold or exchanged for consumables such as televisions or vehicles. By informing us of suspicious activities when they occur we can then work to roll up the other end of the offending chain- the receivers and burglars funding the drug manufacturers and distributors."
Another theme repeated in this operation is the continuing willingness of drug offenders to arm themselves, with several firearms recovered by Police.
"The public can assist here as well. Under the current legislation only the serial numbers of restricted firearms are recorded on the Police database. The serial numbers of A class weapons, such as bolt action rifles and shotguns are not.
"By recording the serial numbers and photographing your firearms on databases such as the Op SNAP (www.snap.org.nz), if you are the victim of a burglary you can provide Police with details of your firearms. This helps us build up an auditable trail of these stolen items and when recovered, helps us return them to their rightful owners."
Mr McDonald said Police Facebook sites established in Thames and Otorohanga and a Thames Police email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) meant residents in the Thames-Coromandel area had even more ways to contact Police for non-emergency issues than just the traditional phone line.
"If it's urgent though the only way to ensure you get hold of us is using the 111 system, but if you have information we want to hear from you, alternatively Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 offers the ability to leave information anonymously."