Stolen passports used to take $30,000 - police

Last updated 19:52 31/01/2013
POLICE APPEAL: The man in this picture, who police allege stole passports and money, will be interviewed by police.
Passport guy
PASSING: The photo police say was put into the stolen passports.

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Lower Hutt police are searching for a man who allegedly used stolen passports to withdraw more than $30,000 from the bank accounts of burglary victims.

On November 19 last year, some jewellery and a passport were stolen from a Lower Hutt address, Detective Richard Gibson 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," 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, Gibson said.

Police were using CCTV footage of the transactions to identify the man who withdrew the cash.

"We've also obtained the bank deposit slips used for one of the transactions and are getting it treated forensically for fingerprints."

An offender involved in the second burglary was arrested on January 10 and is due to appear in Lower Hutt District Court on February 25.

It was hoped that a member of the public would be able to identify the man from the footage, Gibson said.

If anyone had any information regarding the burglaries or could help identify the man in the footage, they were encouraged to contact Detective Gibson on 04 560 2635, or anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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- The Dominion Post

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