One woman has been arrested and police are looking for another after a brazen — but not particularly well executed — heist at Hunting and Fishing in Kerikeri.
According to Kerikeri police, two women entered the store on Saturday, grabbed armfuls of clothing and fled. Staff tried to follow as the women jumped into their vehicle but they got away. The value of clothing taken was believed to be around $3000.
Unfortunately for the two women involved, the store has high-quality CCTV cameras, which clearly captured their faces and vehicle.
To make matters worse for the light-fingered duo, a Facebook post by shop staff went viral on Sunday, so the photos were shared nationwide 1168 times in less than 24 hours.
Facebook users soon recognised and named one of the alleged thieves.
Also on Sunday the same woman had offered to sell a Hunting and Fishing jersey via the 20,000-member Northland Grapevine Facebook page — the same page where earlier in the day shop staff had posted details of the theft.
Sergeant Ross Laurie, of Kerikeri police, said a 24-year-old Kaikohe woman has been charged with theft. She would appear in the Kaikohe District Court.
Police knew the identity of the second woman but were still looking for her and the stolen clothing. Hunting and Fishing Whangārei, Kerikeri and Warkworth director Phillip Smith thanked the Northland public for their support.
''It just goes to show how powerful social media is, and how people are sick and tired of this type of people who think they can just go into a shop and help themselves and cause chaos.''
It had left some of his staff ''absolutely gutted''.
''It's a massive problem in retail. We hope that instead of getting smacked on the hand they get punishment that makes them not want to do it again.''
The store's security cameras were so good shoplifters were often identified within an hour, he said.