Vehicle thieves targeted Toyota vans

A Toyota Hiace van. File photo / Bevan Conley
A Toyota Hiace van. File photo / Bevan Conley

A crime ring suspected of stealing more than 30 Toyota vans has been arrested by police.

All six members of the group were arrested at five addresses in the Counties Manukau district last Thursday as part of "Operation Jafa", police said.

They were all members of an "organised" crime group that stole 38 Toyota Hiace vans between October 2012 and February this year, none of which have been recovered, said Counties Manukau district crime manager Dave Lynch.

In total, the vans were worth more than $300,000.

"This group has been charged with 27 of those un-recovered Toyota Hiace vans with further charges likely against this group," said Lynch.

The five males and one female, all aged between 16 and 42, appeared in the Manukau District Court on Friday.

One 42-year-old man has been remanded in custody and the rest have been bailed, set to reappear on April 3.

Police are urging the public to prevent vehicle crime by removing valuables from the car, using an alarm system and steering lock, parking off the road and in a well-lit area.

Anyone with information about the group is asked to call Counties Manukau Police on (09) 261 1300 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

- nzherald.co.nz

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