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Bust leads to multiple property seizures

Police have restrained millions of dollars worth of property after busting a major burglary ring.

The Police Asset Recovery Unit seized 15 properties across the Wellington region belonging to two of the people allegedly involved in the Operation Trump Card sting. 

The operation saw police catalogue more than 3000 stolen items stolen from across the entire Wellington region, including Wairarapa and Kapiti Coast.

Acting Detective Senior Sergeant Alex MacDonald said two men and one woman had been arrested for their alleged involvement, with the properties belonging to two of them.

“The value of the 15 Wellington-based properties involved is still being worked through but is expected to be in the millions.

“The Asset Recovery Unit secured restraining orders pursuant to the Criminal Proceeds [Recovery] Act 2009 in the Wellington High Court last week.

“This should send a clear message that the Asset Recovery Unit does not just target gangs, but anyone who wishes to profit off crime and cause harm to our communities.”

After carrying out the operation in October, police recovered an enormous cache of stolen property from residential properties and 15 commercial storage units. 

Among the items were 950 power tools, 696 pieces of tapware and mixes and 285 bicycles. The collection even included two baths.

At the time, Wellington District Criminal Investigations Manager Detective Inspector John van den Heuvel said he had never before encountered a stolen goods ring of that scale.

“Police continue to put an enormous amount of work into unravelling this ring and holding those involved accountable.

“We have identified the property as having been stolen from as far away as Kapiti Coast and Wairarapa, dating back as far as two years.”

George Shiers
George Shiers
George Shiers is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age interested in politics and social issues. He reports regularly on a range of topics including infrastructure, housing, and transport. George is also the Tararua reporter and helps cover police, fire and court stories.

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