Counties Manukau Police executed a search warrant today which has resulted in the recovery of thousands of dollars worth of building supplies in an operation known as Operation Supernova.
One man has been arrested and charged with at least six burglaries and has appeared in Manukau District Court. Following the search warrant, at least 14 other burglaries have been identified and it is expected that more charges will follow once Police have completed a full reconciliation of all the property recovered.
The 32 year old man is alleged to have been unlawfully entering construction sites and homes that were near completion at construction sites across Auckland, particularly in the East Auckland area. Among items that were targeted were kitchen and bathroom appliances, such as taps and whiteware, as well as builders’ property and tools.
A large amount of property was recovered and Police will spend the next couple of weeks working to identify the lawful owners.
“A search has located a large amount of property, which has predominantly been stolen from residential construction sites,” says Detective Sergeant Warrick Adkin of Counties Manukau East CIB. “The property searches will continue tomorrow but so far we have located tools, building equipment and heat pumps among other items.
“We are working with a number of people who have reported stolen property and will work with them to identify as much as we can in order to return it to them.
“We are still looking to identify owners for other items including spray painting equipment, lawnmowers and internal and external doors. Anyone who knows they have had items like this go missing from a construction site is asked to contact Police.”
Indications are that although a number of the burglaries took place in East Auckland, construction sites all across Auckland were targeted.
The man was identified after information was passed on by members of the public, who had witnessed suspicious activity and noted a registration plate on a car being used by the accused.
“Information from the public was essential in this case and it is encouraging to see that the community is willing to pass on information about suspicious activity in their area,” says Detective Sergeant Adkin.
Advice for people working on a construction site:
• Enqure your equipment and vehicles are secured at all times
• Use ‘just in time’ delivery for all materials
• Remove all tools and sercure the property at the end of the day
• Mark (etch) tools and equipment with an identifiable marker
• Report suspicious activity to Police
“Identifying your property with your name or company’s name is particularly helpful and can lead to your belongings being returned if they are recovered,” says Detective Sergeant Adkin. “Many of the generic items we have recovered today such as ladders and other tools that don't have serial numbers can be returned to their owners because they were marked.”
Anyone with information or a specific enquiry about the stolen property can contact Detective Sergeant Warrick Adkin on 09 250 2808.
Issued by Kimberley Mathews/Communications Manager, Counties Manukau Police
021 192 0717