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Smash And Grab Burglaries In Wellington City

Smash And Grab Burglaries In Wellington City

1 July 2008

Wellington Police are investigating a spate of related smash and grab burglaries to business premises in the Wellington CBD and surrounding suburbs, and arsons to vehicles in Wellington suburbs. These incidents are believed to be related.

Detective Sergeant Martin Todd, Wellington CIB, said four business premises were broken into between 0300 and 0500 hours on Thursday, 26 June 2008. The windows to the premises were smashed, in two cases a vehicle was used ram raid style so that the offenders could gain access. Once inside they grabbed the goods and drove off.

Detective Sergeant Todd said that before these break-ins happened two vehicle fires were reported to police in suburban Karaka Bay and Kelburn - well away from the burglary scenes.

The offenders struck again early yesterday, Monday 30 June, when between 0205am and 0445am six further business premises in the Wellington CBD and suburbs were broken into. Again the front windows were smashed.

"There is no indication that vehicles were used to smash the windows, however at three of the scenes a white coloured Subaru vehicle was witnessed in the area," Detective Sergeant Todd said.

This time vehicle fires in Messines Road, Karori and Britomart Street, Berhampore, were reported to Police before the burglaries took place.

"The arsons are clearly a diversionary tactic aimed at getting Police to a different location while the burglaries occur. We believe an accelerant was used and all the vehicles were extensively damaged or gutted."

A common aspect to the burglaries was that the windows of the businesses were smashed and LCD or Plasma televisions were stolen. Of the 10 burglaries over the two separate nights, six different Flight Centre travel agent premises were targeted.

Detective Sergeant Todd said the televisions were effectively ripped from the wall where they were held and cables and other connections were left dangling at the scenes.

Police are appealing for any sightings of a white coloured Subaru station wagon seen at five of the 10 burglary scenes and one of the vehicle fire scenes. This vehicle will have damage to it.

Members of the public in the greater Wellington area may have seen the vehicle driving erratically or with televisions in the back of it, or tvs being unloaded at an address. A description of the driver is a male Maori or Polynesians, solid build, aged 20 -30 years with short hair or hair tightly pulled back.

Police are also seeking help from retailers who have customer enquiries regarding the purchase of power cables and other electronic connections for televisions.

If anyone has any information about these burglaries and arsons they can contact the Wellington Police in confidence, phone 0800 TIPOFF.


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