Christmas is all about giving but the silly season in Feilding this year has become all about taking, and frustrated police are asking the public for help.
Feilding Sergeant David Burmeister said police had dealt with three separate instances of shoplifting within 15 minutes yesterday, and the amount of cases staff were dealing with had increased substantially in December.
Police wanted to hear from anyone who knew the whereabouts of Feilding-based recidivist shoplifter Michael Zeus Witehira, who had a warrant for his arrest, Mr Burmeister said.
Witehira, 21, has connections in the Manawatu area and is described as being of Maori descent, of medium build, approximately 185cm tall, with black hair and brown eyes.
The public should not approach him and should call 111 immediately if they see him.
Witehira was not the only person to have offended in the town this month and Mr Burmeister said it appeared a number people already caught had travelled to central Feilding from Palmerston North before shoplifting.
"We're getting groups of five or six all shoplifting at the same time but we are catching them," he said.
Feilding promotion chairman Michael Ford said he had heard of a few businesses in Feilding's central business district that had been targeted by shoplifters this month.
Crime had decreased in Feilding significantly according to reports by security foot patrols this year, but there would always be a few bad eggs, Mr Ford said.
If anyone knew Witehira's whereabouts they should contact Sergeant Greg Hogan of Feilding police on (06) 323 6363.
Information can also be provided anonymously to the organisation Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
- Manawatu Standard
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