Arrests over stolen charity box

Last updated 13:09 05/08/2014

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An anonymous tip-off led police to a Hamilton mother and daughter who allegedly stole a charity box raising money to send a sick girl to Disneyland.

The alleged theft from the St Lukes shopping centre in Auckland early last month attracted more than just media attention, Senior Constable Jake van Selm of the Waikato Tactical Crime Unit said.

"An article ran on Campbell Live about how the charity box stolen belonged to a sick schoolgirl raising funds for a trip to Disneyland, and it must have struck a chord because a short time later the anonymous, independent Crimestoppers received a call identifying two of the three female offenders," he said.

"This information was linked to existing data collected by our team into the theft of a number of other charity boxes and tip jars and yesterday we went to a Hamilton address and arrested a 41-year-old woman and her 20-year-old daughter."

Van Selm said the older woman now faces nine theft charges, one charge of aggravated assault, and charges for failing to appear in court and breach of community work conditions.

The daughter was facing a charge of breaching supervision conditions, six theft charges and one charge of driving in a dangerous manner.

Both were to appear in the Hamilton District Court today.

"These arrests show the strength of combining traditional investigative techniques with the opportunity for the public to contribute provided by Crimestoppers whose strength lies in anonymity," van Selm said.

"It allows people to help make their community safe without anyone knowing who they are."

Anyone with information on other offending is encouraged to contact the independent Crimestoppers on 0800 555111. 

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