Catch-a-thief billboards get big response
A BUSINESSMAN using billboards to catch a thief says the response from the public has been “flabbergasting”.
Billboard company owner Mark Venter has put up four signs in the central city showing a photo of a man stealing roof-top transformers.
He says the overwhelming reaction from the community and the media interest sends a really powerful message.
“This is an example of an individual saying ‘I’ve had enough’,” he says.
The signs show a man crouching on a rooftop as he steals 15 transformers for a neon sign on Karangahape Rd last month.
Mr Venter is offering a $500 reward for information.
He says he’s received almost 100 calls in the last week and yesterday was getting “very, very close” to catching the culprit.
“We’re finally getting the same name coming up all the time,” he says.
He says having such a clear photo of the thief was too good an opportunity to miss, but doesn’t want to say how the offender was snapped.
“How many times do you get a photo of the criminal up close?” he says.
Mr Venter says it’s frustrating that the transformers, worth about $5000, will probably be sold as copper for as little as $200.
“Crime is pretty inefficient.”
He suspects the thief could have an electrical background.
Sergeant Roy Simpson says the photo has been able to provide excellent evidence and it’s only a matter of time before the thief is identified.
“This is a classic example of how the community and police can, and do, work together to detect and resolve crime,” he says.
The man in the photograph is wearing a grey camouflage top, black pants and an orange flouro vest with the words Spring Hill written on the back.
Anyone who knows who the man is or the whereabouts of the transformers should contact Mr Simpson on 302-6483.
Caught on camera: A business owner has put up four billboards in search of this thief.