Auckland City's Pay and Display machines are literally being hammered and Police want to locate who's responsible for the recent spate of thefts that's left at least 40 machines damaged since November and resulted in thousands of dollars of coins stolen.
The damaged machines cost, on average, $2,000 to repair and those targeted over the past few weeks were in the Central CBD and nearby suburbs including Parnell and Remuera.
Relieving City Central Area Commander, Inspector Vaughn Graham, said the machines are on public streets and within many car parks through out the CBD.
"The machines are owned and operated by Auckland Transport (AT) and, in terms of costs for repairs, the offending is taking a toll on the pockets of Auckland rate payers.
"We're working closely with AT management investigating the spree of thefts. We believe the offenders are well organised and could even be posing as servicemen as some of the offending has occurred early in the afternoon.
"This may involve the use of a commercial-style vehicle to assist in that ruse. The people responsible will be trying to convert large quantities of coins into cash. Someone will know more about this offending and we are keen to have that information."
Anyone with information about who's responsible or about large volumes of coins being converted to paper money, should contact Detective Sergeant Mark Franich on 09 302 6949, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
We would also ask the public to report all suspicious activity in public car parks and note down or record registration numbers of vehicles involved and descriptions of people. If it is safe to do so consider filming or photographing the activity with smart phones and report to Police.ENDS
Issued by Noreen Hegarty
Auckland City Police Communications Manager
Ph 09 302 6947 or 0274-951-589