Grinches ac­cused of steal­ing gifts


A pair of grinches have been ar­rested in Welling­ton, ac­cused of steal­ing Christ­mas presents from peo­ple’s doorsteps and let­ter­boxes.

The man and woman are sus­pected of fol­low­ing courier vans around the city’s north­ern sub­urbs, wait­ing for them to drop off parcels at unat­tended houses.

In­spec­tor Derek Or­chard, Welling­ton dis­trict com­mand cen­tre man­ager, said po­lice re­ceived a com­plaint this month from a John­sonville res­i­dent who had a courier pack­age taken from her doorstep.

A few days later, po­lice were alerted to a woman who had been caught by a Ngaio res­i­dent tak­ing a pack­age from her let­ter­box.

Po­lice found a 28-year-old woman and the ve­hi­cle she was driv­ing, and ar­rested her.

Her 32-year-old male pas­sen­ger was also ar­rested. Both were due to ap­pear in Porirua Dis­trict Court.

The woman faces theft charges, while the man will face charges of theft, dan­ger­ous driv­ing, and driv­ing while dis­qual­i­fied.

Or­chard said in­quiries were un­der way into two sim­i­lar, re­lated in­ci­dents in the John­sonville area.

It was one in a spate of re­cent sim­i­lar thefts in the Welling­ton area in which ‘‘a num­ber of grinch im­per­son­ations have re­sulted in miss­ing parcels’’, he said.

Po­lice re­cov­ered a stolen courier van in Wainuiomata loaded up with presents.

Po­lice were called about 11am


Get pack­ages de­liv­ered to your work­place when pos­si­ble.

If you have items home-de­liv­ered, make sure you’re going to be home to sign for them, or have a se­cure lo­ca­tion where they can be left.

If you’re not going to be home, ar­range to col­lect your par­cel from the de­pot, or have the par­cel redi­rected to the ad­dress of some­one you trust.

Be smartwhen dis­pos­ing of pack­ag­ing. Don’t ad­ver­tise the pur­chase of big newitems.

Re­port any sus­pi­cious be­hav­iour to po­lice, such as a car fol­low­ing a courier van, or an un­ex­pected vis­i­tor knock­ing on your door ask­ing for some­one you don’t know. Source: NZ Po­lice and told a courier van had been stolen from a street in the sub­urb, where it had been de­liv­er­ing a par­cel.

Mem­bers of the pub­lic re­ported see­ing sus­pi­cious be­hav­iour in the area, leading to po­lice find­ing and ar­rest­ing a man a short time later.

‘‘Santa had a bit of a helping hand to save Christ­mas ear­lier to­day, thanks to some great work by lo­cal staff to quickly lo­cate and ar­rest a man re­spon­si­ble for steal­ing a courier van,’’ Or­chard said.

A 34-year-old man has been charged and was to ap­pear in the Welling­ton Dis­trict Court.

Most of the con­tents were re­cov­ered. In­quiries were con­tin­u­ing to find the rest, Or­chard said.

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