Alleged North Shore purse snatcher bagged

KELSEY FLETCHER
Last updated 16:19 03/08/2012

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An 18-year-old Manukau man has been charged with robbery after a "disturbing trend" of hand bags being snatched from mostly Asian people on the North Shore.

The man's charge related to an alleged bag snatch in Milford recently.

Detective Sergeant Wong Woo, of North Shore, said women of Asian descent have been the main victims of handbag snatches in the past.

Education programmes within these communities have helped hugely to get the message across not to carry large amounts of cash or jewellery and not to write down PIN numbers, police said.

Woo said the North Shore had seen very little handbag theft activity until the past week when there had been three incidents within days.

Police were investigating links with the Milford bag snatch and other bag snatches in the area and in wider Auckland.

Woo said CCTV footage greatly assisted the police in identifying and apprehending the alleged offender.

"This technology is just one tool that has helped solve these crimes. Private business and retail association cameras on the North Shore are now common place and produce better quality images than in the past. The apprehension rate is now much higher for offenders who snatch and steal handbags."

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