Dumb thieves return to scene

By Genevieve Helliwell


Thieves who stole clothing in the early hours of the morning returned to the scene of their crime in broad daylight yesterday.

The group of thieves smashed their way into Thanks clothing store in Fashion Island yesterday morning and then, realising they had dropped some of the clothing, returned to try and find them.

"They knew what they wanted. They took denim jeans," store manager Jamie Butler said.

"I think they've been in before and had a look around and knew what they were looking for. They were quite selective with what they grabbed."

The store alarm activated about 3am and the security company notified Cameron Ward from Thanks' parent company.

"They must have used rocks because there's pieces of rock in the shop too."

CCTV video surveillance footage showed two people breaking into the store and stealing the goods. Miss Butler viewed the CCTV footage and said one person appeared to kick the glass window until it smashed, then they both ran in and took armfuls of denim.

"They were kicking the door in, one boy kicked about five times before [the window] finally broke. Then it all happened pretty quickly, you see them on the tape then ... they're gone."

Papamoa police sergeant Phil Gillbanks said a dog unit tracked the thieves along a small walkway that ran behind the Fashion Island complex towards Domain Rd but lost the scent.

"[Police] did a search of the area and they managed to find a number of items of clothing that had been stolen."

"Then this morning, about three suspects were seen in the area and they looked like they were attempting to uplift the remaining items that were stolen the night before," Mr Gillbanks said.

Police enquiries led them to a Papamoa address where they located two pairs of jean shorts and a pair of jeans that had been taken in the burglary.

As a result, a 26-year-old male was taken into custody for receiving [stolen goods] and an 18-year-old male was being charged with burglary.

Police are still looking for other persons of interest. Mr Gillbanks said it was possible more charges would be laid.

Mr Ward said he and police recovered "99 per cent" of the items that were stolen.

"This is a local business and we're supporting local so it's a bit frustrating but these things happen. It's more of a hassle than anything else and a big time-waster.

"The police were here really quickly and they did a fantastic job."

Fashion Island centre manager Jane Spearman said there hadn't been a burglary at Fashion Island for years.

"It's very frustrating but we did get them on security cameras.

"We've got a really good security system in place and it's ended up with a good result."

Fashion Island's Just Jeans store was targeted by thieves in April 2009. A drainage grate was thrown through the glass front door and pairs of jeans were stolen.

In October 2006, thieves broke into the Just Jeans store and stole $10,000 worth of clothing.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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