Masterton retailer eyes web crimestopper

By Alisa Yong alisa.yong@age.co.nz -
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Masterton shop owner Quentin Henderson is planning to set up a Facebook page to help retailers nab shoplifters and burglars. PHOTO/ALISA YONG
Masterton shop owner Quentin Henderson is planning to set up a Facebook page to help retailers nab shoplifters and burglars. PHOTO/ALISA YONG

A Masterton retailer is planning to set up a crime prevention page on Facebook after burglars stole up to $2000 worth of clothing from his store over the weekend.

The Stirling Sports store was broken into in the early hours of Saturday morning, with two teenage boys stealing between $1500 to $2000 worth of clothing before fleeing the store.

Franchise owner Quentin Henderson said CCTV images of the burglars had been posted on to a staff member's Facebook page and within about an hour both teens had been identified.

The quick result on social media had Mr Henderson planning to set up a Facebook page where Masterton retailers could post images of burglars and shoplifters.

"We may even change our old Trev's Sports page into a crime prevention page," Mr Henderson said.

"We've got more than 1500 likes on that page so it won't take long for other people and businesses ...

just so retailers in Masterton can all use it. Hopefully if we can get this page going other people can use it for shoplifting as well.

"We need to stamp out what's going on and if we can help other retailers with the same problem hopefully the word will get out it's not okay to do this in Masterton."

Social media had proved effective in identifying the two burglars, who were "well known" in the town, he said.

"As soon as we got their faces on camera it was just a matter of time really."

The age of the burglars was a real concern, Mr Henderson said.

"You've got to move along, but it is frustrating. For their age what are they doing out at 3am in the morning?"

Some of the clothing had been recovered on Bannister St and handed in by a good samaritan, but most of it had been ruined because of the rain, he said.

The recovered clothing had been handed in to police, who had also taken fingerprints from the scene.

The break-in was the second for Mr Henderson, who last year was burgled by a Year 9 pupil who handed himself in after CCTV images of the burglary went viral, with the Trev's Sports Facebook page receiving about 21,000 hits and the Wairarapa Times-Age Facebook page receiving 6000 hits on the story. Another post of two teenage girls shoplifting received 304 "shares".

Senior Sergeant Grant Mumby said police were following some strong leads and an outcome was likely soon.

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