Police in Auckland recently wrapped up a significant and successful multi-district investigation into an organised shoplifting group targeting health and beauty products.
Shoplifting gangs will regularly target health and beauty products for their high resale value. As most thieves are motivated by potential profit rather than personal use, cosmetics and other health goods are attractive targets as they can be easily concealed and readily fenced to unsuspecting buyers.
In June the Police Investigations Support Unit became aware of a significant number of beauty product theft incidents from the Waitemata District involving an organised group of four female offenders. Using Auror, they began to connect the offenders to different incidents and collect evidence supplied by retailers to prepare case files that could lead to successful prosecutions.
But as the investigation continued, it quickly became clear that the group was offending all over Auckland, and responsible for a significantly greater amount of theft than initially suspected, totaling more than $30,000 worth of products altogether.
Through a coordinated approach across the Waitemata, Central and Counties Manukau Police Districts, and working in concert with the different retailers targeted, Police were able to compile a massive case file that included the totality of the offending by this group.
Police were able to locate all the offenders and charged them with more than 50 combined offences.
“This was a great team effort by all three districts who communicated and worked with one another to investigate these offences and bring these offenders before the court,” said Sergeant Matt Murray from Waitemata District Police. “It’s a great example of what we can achieve working together as a team across districts and with the retail sector to achieve an outcome for the benefit of the entire community.”