Wairarapa victims may soon be reunited with their stolen goods after police disrupted a major theft and burglary ring in Wellington last month, cataloguing more than 3000 stolen items.
Police said Operation Trump Card had uncovered a huge cache of stolen property which was seized from residential properties and 15 commercial storage units.
It said items from bicycles to bath taps were found, and it hoped they could be returned to their owners.
“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 ago,” detective inspector
John van den Heuvel said.
“We have such an eclectic range of items that we now need to give back to the people of Wellington.
He said police put an enormous amount of work into unravelling the ring and holding those involved accountable.
The list of recovered items included 285 bikes, 950 power tools, 46 heat pumps, 33 laptops, and two baths.
Police said two men and one woman had been charged with dishonesty offences and were due to appear in Wellington District Court on February 24, 2023. It said further arrests and charges were likely.
Now the items have been recovered, police said it had the onerous but happy task of trying to match up stolen items with rightful owners.
Van den Heuvel said being able to finally return goods to people who had to go through the anguish of having their property stolen was a privilege for police.
“The success of this operation speaks to the hard work and determination of staff, and we look forward to continuing to work with the community to prevent and disrupt this type of crime occurring in Wellington.”
He said the top priority for police was to work with victims and return their property to them.
Police said anyone that had property stolen but has not reported the theft, is encouraged to do so, and provide a description of their item.
“Reports can be made by filling out a 105 report online form at police.govt.nz/use-105 quoting Operation Trump Card.”
Police said it would contact individuals with the next steps once the property could be matched up with its rightful owners.