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Arrest over thefts

AMY MCGILLIVRAY AND ESTHER LAUAKI
Last updated 05:00 13/06/2012
Jewellery theft
OVER IT: Jems store owner John Lee is tired of being preyed on by thieves. He's beefed up security since the shop was burgled last week.

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A bracelet left at the scene of an attempted jewellery store burglary has led to the capture of a suspect, police say.

A 35-year-old man from Royal Oak was arrested on Saturday in relation to a spate of robberies across the city.

He has been charged with five counts of burglary and one of possession of instruments for burglary.

Platina Jewellery in Milford, Rennell's of Ellerslie and Jems of Remuera were targeted in the early hours of June 7, between 2am and 5am.

Senior Sergeant Hirone Waretini believes these and another incident at Mt Wellington are linked.

Security camera footage shows a man parking a silver sedan outside Rennell's Jewellers and Engravers in Ellerslie at 3.30am.

The man made several attempts to force the front door open with a crowbar.

When that failed he got into his car and reversed into the door three or four times. He failed again and left.

Owner John Rennell says it was the store's third burglary since February.

"It's just shocking to see. Our grills held up though so he didn't get a thing. It's just heartbreaking to be called up at 3.30am and come down and see that much damage."

He says a security guard will be on site keeping watch until the grills can be replaced.

Mr Waretini says a Calvin Klein bracelet left at the scene quickly became the focus of their inquiries.

"The jeweller didn't stock it but it was the same brand as a store in Newmarket that was burgled two nights before."

The Calvin Klein store on Teed St in Newmarket was burgled at 12.30am on June 5.

The front door was smashed and four leather handbags, jackets and eight pieces of custom jewellery were stolen.

A man was seen running to a white hatchback nearby with the products in his arms.

Police later found the car in Parnell and the person who had the vehicle led police to the alleged culprit, Mr Waretini says.

A large amount of jewellery was also stolen from the same store in Newmarket during a burglary a week earlier on May 30.

Police also believe the man could be responsible for another attempted burglary on June 7 at Jems of Remuera at about 4am.

John Lee has owned the business for 15 years and has had enough of thieves targeting his store.

"I'm over it. We had a shoplifter steal Louis Vuitton luggage worth $5000 that week right from under our noses. It will cost us another $2000 to replace the locks. We're beefing up security and installing more cameras. We're like Fort Knox now."

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Store owners can assist police by reporting people behaving suspiciously in and around their stores, Mr Waretini says.

Call Sergeant Matt Knowsley or Constable Richard Platt on 526-7300 if you have any information.

- East And Bays Courier

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