Police have now recovered 69 of the 112 vehicles stolen from Jucy Rentals in South Auckland, resulting in 19 arrests.

Counties Manukau West Area Commander Inspector Matt Srhoj said the value of the stolen cars was believed to be roughly between $10,000 and $30,000 each.

"It's a significant value. We treat all crime, particular burglary and vehicle crime, seriously but something of this magnitude obviously has quite an impact on the victim and we want to do the best we can for the victim."

The stolen vehicles were Holden Captivas, Mazda 3s or Suzuki Swifts that were unbranded, making them not as easily identifiable as the company's distinctive green and purple campervans. However, some vans were also reported stolen.

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The inspector said he hasn't seen a car theft of this scale during his career and agreed it was "brazen" offending.

Suspicions were first raised when officers were dealing with some motorists who failed to stop for police, sparking one or two "small pursuits". Police discovered these cars belonged to Jucy Rentals.

These first indications that something bigger was afoot happened in the middle of the night.

Increased police patrols in the surrounding areas quickly uncovered most of the stolen cars in the South Auckland area, including the suburbs of Ōtara, Māngere and Papatoetoe.

Some of the 19 people who have been arrested had a gang connection but Srhoj said that wasn't necessarily unusual.

Some of addresses where police found the cars were also already known to police.

A few vehicles had been up for sale on Facebook Marketplace at low prices.

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"We've been able to recover some of those vehicles," Srhoj said.

"It's very important obviously for the public, if they see something that looks as if it is too good to be true, on Facebook Marketplace, that it probably is.

"It is definitely an offence to receive stolen property. The fact that it is grossly undervalued is a good indication that it very well could be."

Some cars had been offered for a couple of thousand when they would be expected to be valued about $10,000.

"It's suspicious activity and it should be reported to the police."

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The rental company does not own the Mangere yard where the cars were stolen from.

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"They [Jucy] have been co-operative and we have been working closely with them."

Srhoj said he did not believe any of the people charged worked for Jucy.

"The site has been broken into and these people have lost a significant amount of vehicles, many of which have been recovered which we are grateful for."

His message to the public was clear.

"At the moment these vehicles, they will probably stick out, they will look out of place where they are.

"Please call the police. Call us on the 105 line and report it to us. It's really important that we recover these vehicles and return them to the owners."

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A team of six police staff were working fulltime on this inquiry and as the investigation continues "it is very likely that more people will be held to account".

Police say they are determined to recover the outstanding vehicles.

Most of those who have already been arrested are facing charges relating to unlawfully taking a motor vehicle or receiving property.

Three youths have also been caught and are being dealt with separately.

Police have also been notified that 18 additional vehicles, belonging to another rental company, were interfered with at the same yard.

A handful of these vehicles have been damaged, however, none of these company's vehicles have been reported stolen.

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Jucy Rentals chief executive Tim Alpe previously told the Herald he was devastated by the theft, which could not have come at a worse time for the company.

"When tourism has just been decimated, to have to go through this as well is just horrific," Alpe said.

The stolen vehicles would have been used as rentals when the country eventually moved to level 2.

"At Jucy, we have about two-and-a-half thousand vehicles across New Zealand - cars and campervans, so it's a significant number that has been taken from this site," Alpe said.

He believes the theft occurred on Anzac Day.

Alpe also confirmed to the Herald the cars would have been sitting unlocked in the Mangere yard when they were taken.

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It is believed the theft occurred on Anzac Day. Photo / Brett Phibbs
It is believed the theft occurred on Anzac Day. Photo / Brett Phibbs

"The keys won't be in the ignition, the keys could be in the vehicles though. They are moved quite a bit between different yards."

If they weren't left unlocked would-be thieves would smash into the cars to gain entry, he said.

It is believed so far most of the cars recovered have been in good condition.