Shoplifting squad hits Masterton shops

By Alisa Yong alisa.yong@age.co.nz -
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CCTV photo of a woman (back right) who fled Dick Smith with a stolen television on Friday. PHOTO/FACEBOOK
CCTV photo of a woman (back right) who fled Dick Smith with a stolen television on Friday. PHOTO/FACEBOOK

Masterton retailers have been hit by a team of shoplifters who raided several Queen St stores on Friday afternoon.

Newbolds, Dick Smith and Cotton On were all raided by what is understood to be the same group, who stole between 15 to 20 pairs of jeans and attempted to steal a television.

Senior Sergeant Mike Sutton said the theft from Dick Smith was reported to police at 4.45pm, with the Cotton On theft reported shortly after.

"We are certainly looking at the CCTV to see if that will pick up on that."

A woman was seen fleeing Dick Smith with a television, which she later dropped on the street, Mr Sutton said.

She was described as aged between 25 to 35 with long pink hair.

It was believed one man was involved in the theft at Cotton On, but it was possible he may have had a female accomplice, Mr Sutton said.

The man was described as Pakeha, of medium build and aged between 20 to 30.

A red-coloured Mitsubishi Lancer seen nearby may be linked to thefts.

It was understood Newbolds had reported a shoplifting attempt at about 5pm the same day, Mr Sutton said.

Manager of Newbolds Masterton, Mark Heginbotham, took to Facebook to help identify the thieves, posting CCTV pictures on the company's page on Saturday.

"Unfortunately yesterday [Friday] we had a team of four shoplifters hit our store.

"We have photos of all and the name of one. If we can get the names of the other three, we would be stoked," he posted.

The store was offering a reward for the return of its property, Mr Heginbotham said.

The thieves were seen fleeing by several people, including Gemma Keen, who said their behaviour drew people's attention.

"The girl with the pink hair was with the guy that stole from Cotton On, a man saw them getting into a car and had the rego, he took the details to Cotton On. The guy [in the photo] next to the pink hair might be the one that stole from Cotton On."

"The boy was super obvious running down the street with a pile of clothes and heaps of people saw him."

As of yesterday, the post had been shared 191 times.

Mr Heginbotham said there had been amazing support from the Masterton community.

"We have three of the four names now and their car that they were driving so I think we are going good."

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