Police have made a larger-than-life discovery and reunited a local business with their prized companions following a number of search warrants this month.
Kerikeri Police investigating several reports of burglaries in the Mid North and Whangārei areas have been making enquiries with a group of individuals believed to be involved.
Three search warrants were executed at addresses in the region last week, which led to the ‘grizzly’ discovery.
‘Sophie’ the dinosaur, and her life-size gorilla friend were located at one of the addresses, after being reported stolen from a commercial address in Kerikeri in May.
Detective Sergeant Bart Graham, Kerikeri Combined Investigation Unit, says Sophie’s owner was pleased to have both back but understandably disappointed about the damage caused by the thieves.
“While Police are glad to be able to return the items, it is it unacceptable to take property that does not belong to you, and very disheartening to return the items in a poor condition.
“However, we hope the public can be reassured Police are continuing to investigate these reports and are committed to bringing a resolution to our communities as soon as possible.”
Additionally, as a result of the warrants and information from the public, Police located three vehicles, vehicle parts, and a commercial truck and trailer unit alleged to be stolen in recent months.
An amount of cannabis and $13,000 of cash was also located at the addresses.
Police allege the offenders had attempted to disguise stolen vehicles by removing identifying plates and significantly altering the vehicles appearance.
Four men, aged between 18 and 36, have been arrested and charged in relation to these incidents and are due to reappear in the Kaikohe and Whangārei District Courts in due course.
Detective Sergeant Graham says Police would like to take the opportunity to caution the public about the risks associated with buying vehicles via social media.
“It is imperative potential buyers do their due diligence, such as using Car Jam and other public sites, to verify the vehicles they are buying are not stolen.
“If something seems too good to be true, there is a strong chance it might be.”
If you believe you may have been the victim of a crime, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Police.
If any incident is happening now, call 111. To report a crime after it has happened, please contact us via 105.
Information can also be provided anonymously via Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.