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.