Mangawhai households targeted in spate of pump thefts
Posted at 1:45pm Monday 04 Nov, 2019
A spate of water pump thefts from the Mangawhai community has left residents and industry experts questioning whether there is a thriving black market for stolen pumps.
Mangawhai Beach School discovered the water pump from the school pool, which has been closed for repairs, had been stolen this month and issued a statement to thieves on Facebook.
“There seems to be a spate of thefts in our community at the moment and [the school] has also been targeted. Fortunately for us, the security cameras recorded the action unfolding. We are offering a 10-
day grace period for the return of our pool pump before we hand the footage over to the authorities.”
Followers were quick to respond to the statement with comments such as, “I know too many people now that have had it happen over the last few months,” and “no leniency – this has happened to far too many locals”.
Principal Aaron Kemp says the footage has been passed on to police as no one has come forward with information or returned the stolen pump.
However, he says the Mangawhai community has kindly provided support to the school, including Jade
Pearce, an agent for pump manufacturer Fluidra, who has supplied a new pump at a big discount, and Adam Williams, of Reflection Pools, who installed it.
Adam says the old pump was taken by someone who knew what they were doing.
“It was disconnected at all the right points and was done the right way with the fittings. The pipes weren't just cut. They took the time to do it properly,” he says.
Jade says pump theft is reasonably common. However, it is not usually pool pumps, as they are less valuable than household pumps.
“I've been in the industry for 23 years and it's always been happening. Household pumps are expensive and they break down so people steal them,” Jade says.
“But without the paperwork, thieves wouldn't get much money for a stolen pump.”
Jade adds that Mangawhai has possibly been targeted because of its holiday homes.
Mangawhai Senior Constable Rob Cato confirms that there have been a “small number” of water pumps reported stolen recently.
“We are encouraging people to report thefts, and reminding the community of the 105 non-urgent reporting number,” he says.
Snr Constable Cato says residents should take precautions by recording the serial numbers of their pumps and securing pumps with bolts.