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Arrests over charity box theft

Charity box theft suspects arrested in Hamilton following combination of old skills and new technology

Waikato Police say thieves described by media as despicable after stealing a sick girl's charity box from an Auckland shopping centre will now be held to account thanks to a combination of old style investigation and new anonymous crime reporting.

Senior Constable Jake van Selm of the Waikato Tactical Crime Unit said the alleged theft of the charity box from the St Lukes shopping centre early last month attracted more than just media attention.

"An article ran on Campbell Live about how the charity box stolen belonged to a sick schoolgirl raising funds for a trip to Disneyland and it must have struck a chord because a short time later the anonymous, independent Crimestoppers received a call identifying two of the three female offenders.

"This information was linked to existing data collected by our team into the theft of a number of other charity boxes and tip jars and yesterday we went to a Hamilton address and arrested a 41-year-old woman and her 20-year-old daughter."

Mr van Selm said the older woman now faces nine theft charges, one aggravated assault charge and charges for failing to appear in court and breach of community work conditions.

"Her daughter is facing a charge of breaching supervision conditions, six theft charges and one charge of driving in a dangerous manner. Both will be appearing in the Hamilton District Court today.

"These arrests show the strength of combining traditional investigative techniques with the opportunity for the public to contribute provided by Crimestoppers whose strength lies in anonymity, it allows people to help make their community safe without anyone knowing who they are."

Anyone with information on other offending is encouraged to contact the independent Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

End

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