Two women known to Police have been taken into custody following a string of shoplifting and assault incidents in the Counties Manukau District.
A 24-year-old woman was arrested last week after an incident at a commercial address in Takanini, where she is alleged to have sprayed disinfectant into the face of security guards.
She is due to appear in the Manukau District Court on Friday 8 December facing six shoplifting charges and two charges of aggravated assault.
The second alleged offender, a 34-year-old woman, was taken into custody yesterday after Police stopped a vehicle in Papakura.
She was wanted as a person of interest following recent shoplifting incidents in Papakura and Manukau.
Officers were making enquiries into another person of interest, when they noticed this alleged offender in a vehicle of interest, linked to a recent shoplifting offence.
Counties Manukau South Area Prevention Manager, Inspector Matt Hoyes says it was soon discovered that she was wanted for three alleged incidents of shoplifting and assault.
“The first was an incident on 12 November where the employee of a store in Manukau was assaulted and threatened with a baseball bat.
“The second was an incident at a supermarket in Manukau on Saturday 29 November, where she is alleged to have assaulted employees by throwing glass jars at them before fleeing with a trolley-full of stolen goods.
“The third incident was again at a supermarket in Manukau yesterday, Tuesday 5 December, where she is alleged to have threatened and assaulted employees with a hammer before decamping with another trolley-full of stolen products," Inspector Hoyes says.
The alleged offender is being held in custody and is due to appear in the Manukau District Court today 6 December facing three charges of shoplifting, three of assault with a blunt instrument, and one of aggravated assault.
“This was great work from Police staff in different areas, recognising these recidivous offenders, and taking quick and decisive action to safely take them into custody,” says Inspector Hoyes.
The arrests come as Police in the area undertake high visibility patrols in shopping centres and CBD’s, with a specific focus on supermarkets and other major retailers.
“Police and retailers cannot prevent crime alone and rely on the help of the community to stop this illegal activity and the social harm it causes.
“Our high visibility patrols in shopping malls and along shopping strips also allow Police to interact with the public who want to see an end to this type of crime in their neighbourhood. By working together, we can make our district a place where everybody can be safe and feel safe,” Inspector Hoyes says.
Counties Manukau Police encourage members of the public to report suspicious behaviour in and around shops and malls to a member of staff, security, or Police to prevent retail theft.
People are encouraged to continue report offending as it is occurring by calling 111, or to report matters after the fact by calling 105.
Reports can also be made online by going to https://www.police.govt.nz/use-105 or anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Tony Wright/NZ Police