Police fail to act on hot tip

JAY BOREHAM
Last updated 05:00 30/11/2012
Harjeet Singh
JAY BOREHAM / Fairfax NZ
HARD TO FATHOM: Harjeet Singh is upset that police have failed to bring thieves in his store to justice even after he provided them with CCTV evidence and their address.

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Staff at a computer store thought they had an open-and-shut case on their hands when two thieves stole an iPhone.

They had the CCTV footage of the theft and with a little detective work they discovered where the offenders were.

But six weeks later the workers at Micro Computers are at a loss to understand why police haven't acted.

The police have been given the CCTV footage, the thieves' address and a witness to the crime, store technician Harjeet Singh said.

"The case is clear," he said.

The two offenders were caught from multiple angles by the great South Rd store's survillance cameras during the October 17 theft. 

Singh said one of the offenders distracted him while the other reached behind the counter and stole the $1000 phone.

"When I turned around he just grabbed the phone and put it in his pocket," he said.

Two hours later another staff member spotted the duo across the road.

"I went out, saw them and came back to the footage to double check they were the guys," Singh said.

When he returned outside the men were leaving in a taxi. But Singh was in luck.

"I knew the taxi driver," he said.

He was able to identify the address on Burundi Av in Clendon and when he checked it he spotted the thieves in the same clothes sitting outside the property.

Singh went to Manurewa police station to make a complaint, armed with the CCTV evidence and the men's address details and was told to come back the next day. 

He did that and spent four hours answering questions, leaving after being reassured an arrest would be made.

Police arrived at the store the next day and asked for the cell phone's serial number.

It was the store policy to record the serial number only when a phone was sold so it could not be provided.

Police told Singh they couldn't do anything without the serial number.

Store owner Gurjeet Singh is fuming about police inaction.

When complaints are made about the noise from the stereo systems in his store someone is there within 10 minutes to make him turn them down, he claimed.

"And stuff happens to my shop worth thousands...it's been six weeks and nothing's happened."

He's also worried the lack of action could make the thieves think his shop is an easy target.

Since the incident someone had tried to saw through the locks on the shop's back door.

A police spokesman couldn't comment on Singh's case but said officers were now looking into the investigation's status.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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