Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Man charged over robbery of valuable Rolex watch

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Police recovered a valuable watch allegedly stolen during a Facebook Marketplace transaction. Times file photo

A man is facing charges after a valuable Swiss watch that was listed for sale on social media was allegedly stolen during an aggravated robbery.

The violent Facebook Marketplace transaction happened in Pakuranga on April 6.

Counties Manukau East Police detective sergeant James Mapp says the victim had listed the watch for sale and arranged for what he thought would be a legitimate buyer to come to his property.

“While viewing the Rolex, an associate of the buyer has allegedly entered the property and pointed an object at the victim making him think it was a weapon.”

Mapp says both offenders fled the property with the watch. Investigators followed up lines of enquiry since the incident occurred.

“Over the weekend, we executed a search warrant at a Pakuranga address. A man was located and arrested without incident.

“We were also fortunate to have located the watch at the property and this has been recovered.”

A 19-year-old man has been charged with aggravated robbery and has appeared in the Manukau District Court.

He’s scheduled to reappear in court on May 6.

Police are following lines of enquiry to identify the second person involved, Mapp says.

“It is a good outcome that we have been able to return the watch to the victim, who has been profoundly impacted by what happened.

“This serves as a reminder for all of us to be vigilant when buying or selling goods online, particularly with Facebook Marketplace.”

Meanwhile, police are urging east Auckland residents to be vigilant due to an increase in the theft of tools from tradespeople’s vehicles.

It follows multiple reports of several thousand dollars’ worth of tools being stolen and police are drilling in the reminder to tradies to secure and safely store all tools.

Counties Manukau East Police area prevention manager, Inspector Rakana Cook, says areas including Howick, Botany, East Tamaki and Flat Bush have been targeted recently.

“Our advice is to take extra care when parking in public spaces and car parking buildings as these are known targeted locations.

“We also recommend you store your tools at a property, rather than in a vehicle.

“We will continue to investigate these crimes, however prevention is advised.”

Cook says there are preventative measures people can take to prevent theft. They include:

  • Ensure your vehicle is locked and don’t leave valuables in plain sight
  • If you need to park on the street, park in a well-lit area and near CCTV cameras if you have them
  • If possible, have an alarm system in your vehicle/house and tinted windows to deter opportunistic offenders
  • Engrave your tools with your driver licence number – that way, if we find your tools, there’s a better chance of us getting them back to you
  • Keep a record of the serial numbers
  • If you work on a construction site, be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to police
  • If you can’t take your tools home with you, lock them up in a shed on site
  • Secondhand dealers and the public should be wary of tools being offered to them at a price that’s too good to be true

Anyone who sees suspicious activity around vehicles can phone police on 111 if they’re witnessing the activity, or 105 after the matter.

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