Quick-thinking retailers help police arrest "professional shoplifter"

By Mikaela Collins -
4 comments
Inspector Al Symonds says good information from victims helped police arrest a 25-year-old woman and a 43-year-old woman who allegedly spent the day shoplifting in Whangarei. PHOTO/MICHAEL CUNNINGHAM
Inspector Al Symonds says good information from victims helped police arrest a 25-year-old woman and a 43-year-old woman who allegedly spent the day shoplifting in Whangarei. PHOTO/MICHAEL CUNNINGHAM

Good information from Whangarei store workers led to the arrest of a "professional shoplifter" and her co-offender, police say.

Three stores in Whangarei, including The Warehouse and Red Rat Clothing, were allegedly targeted on Thursday by a 25-year-old woman, described by Inspector Al Symonds as a "professional shoplifter", and her 43-year-old associate.

"She is a professional criminal. As you and I get up and head to our jobs at 8am she does the same to go steal," he said.

But it was good information provided to police by the workers at the stores targeted which helped officers to arrest the two women who had allegedly spent the day shoplifting in Whangarei.

"We were lucky to get good information from the victims. Sometimes people forget to get the registration number and get the type of car and the colour.

But if we have the rego we can find all that stuff out. These people [shop workers] were really smart," said Mr Symonds.

The two women, from Auckland, were heading south when an officer spotted the car in Ruakaka about 3.30pm. A pursuit was initiated and ended in Waipu when the alleged offenders crashed, said Mr Symonds.

"These people are putting other people's lives at risk [by fleeing police] for shoplifting," said Mr Symonds.

The 25-year-old woman, who had three warrants for her arrest, was arrested and the 43-year-old woman ran off and allegedly stole a car in Waipu. She was later stopped by Waitemata Police in Wellsford.

Both women have been remanded in custody and face a number of charges.

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