Please attribute to Senior Sergeant Craig Vining:
Hawke's Bay Police have arrested 20 people and laid 100 charges following an operation targeting recidivist retail crime offenders.
Police worked alongside Loss Prevention Officers, retailers, the District Councils and other partners to conduct Op Makipai (Magpie) over the past 9 days.
The focus of the operation has been the identification and apprehension of those who believe they can offend with impunity.
Included in the charges laid are multiple charges of Burglary and Aggravated Assault. An Aggravated Assault is a charge which encompasses incidents in which store employees try to detain offenders in order to get their property back, and the employees are assaulted in the process.
Our message to offenders is clear – if you steal and then assault people in an attempt to get away and avoid arrest we will prosecute you appropriately, including opposing your bail and remanding you in custody where appropriate.
The people arrested are due to appear in court in the coming weeks.
Multiple search warrants were executed during the operation and some stolen property was recovered. The fact that so little was able to be recovered indicates to us that there is a strong receiving market operating in Hawke’s Bay and that the thieves are likely stealing to order, and exchanging stolen property for other items including drugs.
A search at a Taradale Road, Napier property yesterday has resulted in the recovery of items that we would like to return to the shop/s they were stolen from. If you can provide evidence that the items in the photo are from your shop, please contact Police and quote file number 231109/9037.
While Operation Makipai has now concluded, this type of work is ongoing and retail crime offenders can expect ongoing targeting in the lead-up to Christmas. We will be updating retailers in the coming days, including providing them with copies of trespass notices for offenders recently identified and prosecuted.
I want to thank the entire Op Makipai team for their commitment and enthusiasm which has contributed to some significant results in a short period of time.
Issued by Police Media Centre