Public help solve Plunket car seat thefts

KATHRYN KING
Last updated 09:00 15/08/2014

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Social media has come to the aid of Manawatu-Whanganui's Plunket, after 14 car seats and booster seats were stolen from their Cuba St premises in Palmerston North.

The seats, stored in a container out the back of the Plunket rooms, were discovered missing by staff on Wednesday morning, having been taken some time overnight.

The padlock on the storage container had been cut off.

The seats were from the retail arm of the store, and were for sale, rather than for hiring.

The theft prompted outrage on the organisation's Facebook page, and members of the public were able to piece together enough information to point police in the direction of a suspect.

A 31-year-old Palmerston North man was arrested shortly after midday yesterday following a search.

He was charged with receiving stolen goods and will appear in the Palmerston North District Court next week.

All 14 of the seats were recovered and returned to Plunket.

Manawatu-Whanganui car seat manager Veronica Feildsend called the response from the public "fantastic", and said people had even offered donations.

While Plunket got the seats back, some of them were damaged, and they would all need to be "very carefully" checked to see if they could be repaired.

"We need to know that they are safe, if they have been dropped, and they are in a safe condition to use," she said.

Inspector Brett Calkin said it was "great work by the public, which brought [the case] to a swift resolution".

Police would like to hear from anyone who saw anything suspicious in the Cuba and Taonui streets area on Tuesday evening.

- Information can be given to Palmerston North police on 351 3600, or anonymously via Crimestoppers, 0800 555 111.

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- Manawatu Standard

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