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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Pack 'N Run Gang at Pak N Save - Auckland, New Zealand, monavie

Sunday Oct 12, 2008, Auckland, New Zealand-- A gang of shoplifters is piling supermarket trolleys high with expensive goods before bursting through the checkouts without paying.
The group has targeted several Pak'nSave branches in Auckland and was once stopped before they could flee with more than $4000 worth of goods in four loads.
Sergeant Wendy Pickering, of Glen Innes police, said CCTV images had led police to believe the same group of people, nine Maori men and women in their late teens and early 20s, were responsible.
Some distracted staff by starting a fight or by chatting to checkout operators while the others made a break for the exit.
Police made a breakthrough when they targeted the Sylvia Park store on July 17, filling several trolleys before being spotted by security staff. They ran off, leaving their trolleys behind, but three were arrested.
The remaining six hit the Glen Innes branch on July 18 and stole three trolleys full of goods estimated to be worth thousands of dollars.
They tried their luck again at the same store three days later, only to be foiled by vigilant security staff.
Brian Frecker, owner-operator of Pak'nSave Glen Innes, said his security team caught people trying to flee with a trolley load "weekly".
Frecker said the act was not new to shopkeepers, but had become more common in the past six months.
"It's an ongoing battle and we're being stretched to become better at security because of its prevalence."
Vern Hayden, owner of Pak'nSave Manukau, said a group of shoplifters with a similar strategy hit his store about six weeks ago.
"We almost caught them. We chased them to their car and they picked the trolley up and put it in the boot. They just lifted the boot up and dropped it in. "
Hayden said one of his staff was nearly run over as the group drove off. "He stood in front of the car and was nearly bowled."
Sylvia Park Pak'nSave owner Peter Jeffares said the "gang of nine" stockpiled $4000 worth of goods, including meat, health and beauty products and small electrical goods, before their plans were thwarted.
He said other people had escaped with trolley loads in the past but of a much lower value.
Retailers Association security consultant Steve Davis estimated shoplifting had increased by about 6 per cent over the past six months and cost retailers up to $2 million a day.
Police said they hoped to catch the rest of the group soon.

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