Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Stolen chocolate trail leads Police to Auckland retailer

A central Auckland retailer is facing charges as a Police operation unwraps the distribution of more than 50 blocks of stolen chocolate.

The operation, which remains ongoing, resulted in a search warrant being executed at a convenience store in the city late on Friday, where officers recovered the chocolate haul which they say was stolen from a city supermarket earlier in the day.

Auckland City Central Area Commander, Inspector Grant Tetzlaff, says Police have been investigating a series of thefts recently.

“Our staff in the city have been keeping a close eye on the wider picture of those involved in the initial offending, but also where these products are ending up,” he said.

“Enquiries have led to the search warrant being carried out late on Friday.” 

A 42-year-old man is due to appear in court on 7 June on charges of receiving stolen property.

“It’s really disappointing to see a few small retailers are engaging in the behaviour that we will allege this man has been involved in,” Inspector Tetzlaff says.

“This behaviour simply continues a cycle of offending and means their industry colleagues are likely to be targeted and victimised in their businesses.

“Our message to retailers is that they should be more aware if they are being approached to buy product at very low prices.

“If you are being approached to buy at bargain basement prices, you could be dealing in stolen merchandise.”

The arrest comes off the back of ongoing efforts to target retail crime offenders.

“In the past six months we have laid hundreds of charges for theft at central city businesses.”

The operation is continuing, and Police anticipate investigations into theft of other items will lead to arrests.

“We are following some lines of enquiry, and we cannot rule out laying further charges over the initial thefts or those involved in receiving stolen goods,” Inspector Tetzlaff says.

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