Auckland police uninterested in carjackers' tools left at scene

An Auckland couple are disappointed with police after catching would-be thieves trying to break into their car only to leave crucial evidence behind, and not being able to get an officer on their doorstep.

Six months after the incident, Jasdeep Sandhu, 32, and Neha Bhatia, 31, are still holding on to tools the group left behind.

The couple were getting ready for bed on the night of July 3 last year when Sandhu heard noises coming from near their house.

Bhatia said her partner ran to the kitchen to get a better look and noticed a man attempting to break into their car.

"He could see that someone was trying to break the glass of the car and he opened the main door and he shouted ... he said there was this guy trying to break into the car and then he quickly ran to his car, and the car went away.

There were two cars full of guys."

As the couple and a friend discussed the incident while standing outside their house, the carloads of men came back a second time.

"When they came back one guy started getting out of the car and then my husband shouted 'Neha, can you call the cops and the registration number is ...' and the minute he started reading the registration number the guy quickly got back in the car and the other car turned down its lights and they rushed off again."

Bhatia was on the phone to police and, along with usual details, she mentioned that the offender had left his tools behind.

After hanging up and not hearing anything further, Bhatia said she called police back who then said they wouldn't be stopping by and that the tools were no good to them as they had been touched - the couple had picked them up and put them on a table inside.

"We picked up the tools because they were left in the car outside ... [police] could have at least seen the car and the window [damage]."

Inspector Barry Smalley of the Northern Communications Centre confirmed police received a call at 11.05pm about the incident. They made checks on the number plate provided by the caller and established the car was stolen.

"The plate number of the car was broadcast to all police units across the entire Auckland region to be on the lookout for the vehicle," Smalley said.

"At this point the offenders had left the scene and unfortunately no units were immediately available to go to the scene."

He said that 42 minutes later, police rang the caller back to take a fuller report from the victim.

"As the caller had handled the two screwdrivers left at the scene by the offenders, the evidence was contaminated and not able to be forensically examined.

"Whether evidence left behind at a scene can be fingerprinted is dependent on the type of object that it is."

Sandhu said the incident had left them worried for their safety.

"We informed the police about the whole incident and told them that we are feeling a bit scared that they may come back again, and told them that the thieves left their tools, but the police never came. We still have their tools with us."

The couple have been living in the area for about five years. Despite the area being known for boy racers, were are used to it, she said.

- NZ Herald

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