Thief in police disguise sought
Police have released a picture of a man wanted in connection with a spate of thefts of the elderly in Auckland.
In the past few days, the man allegedly entered the homes of eight elderly people across the city claiming he was a police officer investigating burglaries. Once inside, the man attempts to steal handbags, cash and credit cards.
Police were able to retrieve a picture of the man after he used the stolen bank card at a Pt Chevalier bank at about 10.40am today.
Shortly before the man was at the bank, a 79-year-old woman was accosted near her Westmere home.
Similarly on Monday morning, a 75-year-old Remuera woman was accosted in her home and had cash and her blue Honda Prelude stolen.
Police said the man in the picture was seen in the vicinity of the theft.
The car, registration DPD488, was spotted in the Puhoi area yesterday morning.
Five further crimes were committed yesterday morning and are linked by a black 2005 Holden Club Sport, registration DBG685.
Police said the car was stolen from Penrose after a woman arrived at work and was pushed to the ground by an assailant.
The car was linked to incidents in central and north Auckland in Orewa, Takapuna, Northcote, Herne Bay and Westmere between 8.20am and 10.30am.
The man is Maori or Polynesian, of medium to solid build and has a distinctive tattoo on his left arm.
He was last seen wearing dark trousers and a light-coloured t-shirt with a one word brand name written across the front.
Detective Inspecter Scott Beard said the man was key to the investigation.
“Anyone who recognises him needs to do the right thing to prevent further trauma to our elderly citizens,” he said.
“We’re advising people to be wary of anyone cold-calling at home and the public are reminded that police officers must always identify themselves through their legitimate police identity badges.”
Anyone who has information on the man or recognises him is urged to contact police on 09 524 1920 or 111. Anonymous callers can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.