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Alleged passport thief nabbed

Last updated 12:06 01/02/2013
POLICE APPEAL: The man in this picture, who police allege stole passports and money, will be interviewed by police.

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A man accused of using stolen passports to steal $30,000 from the bank accounts of burglary victims has turned himself in.

Detective Richard Gibson said the alleged thief had been identified as a 23-year-old man from Lower Hutt as a direct result of an article published by The Dominion Post.

On November 19 last year, some jewellery and a passport were stolen from a Lower Hutt address, Detective Richard Gibson of the Lower Hutt Tactical Crime Group said.

"On November 28th, a person then modified that passport by putting their own photograph in over the original. They then used that passport to withdraw $13,200 from the victim's bank account in a bank in Papakura.

"A second burglary was committed on January 6 in Lower Hutt. A passport was again taken and on January 16, the same person again used a modified stolen passport to withdraw $19,000 from the victim's bank account," Mr Gibson said.

Later in the day they tried withdraw another $18,000 but on that occasion they were declined.

"On the surface the modified passports could have appeared genuine," Mr Gibson said.

The man came forward and spoke with police after members of the community helped identify him, Mr Gibson said.

He would speak to police early next week. Mr Gibson thanked members of the public for their help.

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- The Dominion Post

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