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Alleged thieves found with machete, axe at shopping centre

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Five people were arrested after allegedly stealing items from Botany Town Centre. Times file photo Wayne Martin

Police have recovered objects including a machete and an axe from a group of people charged over thefts at an east Auckland shopping centre.

The incident unfolded at Botany Town Centre on the afternoon of September 4.

Counties Manukau East Police prevention manager, Inspector Rakana Cook, says the five people were caught in the act following a “shoplifting spree”.

He says police received a report at about 4pm of a group of people allegedly loading trolleys full of goods at various stores at the town centre and walking off without paying.

The suspected thieves were followed by a security guard, who searched their bags and located numerous stolen items, Cook says.

“A machete and an axe were also recovered from the bag. The group was escorted off site and police were quickly notified.”

Cook says the group of people then went to another store nearby where they proceeded to load up trolleys and leave without paying.

“They have exited the store through a backdoor and made their way down to Chapel Road, where our staff quickly took them into custody without incident.”

Cook says the stolen items have since been recovered and returned to the stores.

“This is an example of excellent police work in action.

“Co-ordinated and clever policing meant we were able to arrest all offenders quickly. That’s an excellent result.

“The safety of the people in our community is of primary importance to police and we’re committed to doing everything we can to hold offenders to account.”

A 26-year-old man and a 24-year-old man are scheduled to appear in Manukau District Court on September 5 charged with shoplifting.

An 18-year-old female will appear in the same court later this week and one other person has been referred to Youth Aid Services.

Meanwhile, police are also investigating a reported burglary at a commercial property in Bucklands Beach overnight on September 4-5.

A police spokesperson says offenders entered the store, Books N Bricks Cafe in Hattaway Avenue, between 3.30pm and 6.40am and took a number of items.

“Police are working to identify and locate those involved and hold them to account.

“Anyone with information is asked to contact police via 105, referencing job number P055918753.

“Information can also be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

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