An 18-yer-old Manuakau resident has appeared in the North Shore District Court charged with robbery related to a recent bag snatch in Milford.
North Shore had seen very little handbag theft activity until the past week when a disturbing trend of three incidents occurred within a space of days, all had similar trademarks.
Detective Sergeant Wong Woo says CCTV footage greatly assisted the police in identifying and apprehending the offender.
This technology is just one tool that has helped solve these crimes.
Private business and retail association cameras on the North Shore are now common place and produce better quality images than in the past.
The apprehension rate is now much higher for offenders who snatch and steal handbags.
“Handbag snatches are a highly invasive crime that police take very seriously and Females of Asian descent have predominantly been the victims of handbag snatches in the past.
“Education programmes within these communities have helped hugely to get the message across not to carry large amounts of cash or jewellery and not to write down PIN numbers. The value of stolen property has greatly reduced and this is our primary tactic for preventing this crime from continuing or escalating.
“If thieves are able to steal a handbag containing significant amounts of cash, this then puts all women in the same demographic profile at risk. We are asking people to act responsibly so they don’t unwittingly create more victims.”
Source: New Zealand Police.