In the latest case of Christmas-related robbery, Wellington police have caught a thief who stole a van full of presents.
Police were alerted to the incident on Wednesday after a courier van was stolen from Rowe Rd, Wainuiomata, where it was delivering a parcel.
Several people had witnessed suspicious behaviour, and gave police enough information for them to quickly locate and arrest the culprit. The 34-year-old man has been charged and will appear in the Wellington District Court on December 14.
Wellington has seen a wave of theft this festive season. A Johnsonville resident had a parcel stolen from her doorstep on December 6, and two other people from the suburb have reported similar incidents.
In the past week, a Ngaio local caught a woman stealing a package from a letterbox. Police arrested a 28-year-old woman and a 32-year-old man in relation to the crime, both of whom will appear in the Porirua District Court on December 15.
In yet another Wellington Christmas theft, a Mighty Ape courier van was stolen on Wednesday night.
According to a Facebook post by the online retailer, the van contained the company’s last LEGO stunt bike, meaning one Kiwi kid would be missing out on their Christmas present.
Thankfully, a Courier Post employee came to the rescue, buying a replacement in Auckland and delivering it to Mighty Ape’s warehouse in time for the toy to be shipped for Christmas.
With the increase in yuletide theft, police have prompted New Zealanders to take extra precautions. They recommend only having parcels delivered when someone is home, and to establish a secure location where packages can be left if this isn't possible.
People are advised to "be smart when disposing of packaging", as leaving evidence of expensive new purchases, such as TVs or computers, lying around could encourage burglars.
Police say any suspicious behaviour, such as a car following a courier van, should be reported immediately. They also warn of thieves using a common tactic of knocking on doors and asking for someone who doesn't live at that address to find out if anyone is home.