Anger at sluggish police response when MacBook theft victim tracks down stolen devices to Auckland house

After laptops and goods worth $12,000 were stolen from him, an Auckland man tracked the gear down to a suburban house and waited nearby for police to arrive.

But Aayush Tandon, 28, said despite multiple calls and a bucketload of information provided, police did nothing to help him.

“It’s more frustrating than the actual robbery. We could see it moving in front of our eyes and nobody came to help.”

Police say they are investigating, after the Herald made enquiries, and said when Tandon called, other jobs had to take priority.

Tandon’s case highlights opportunities and challenges device-tracking technology provides crime victims.

He said someone stole from his car parked in Mt Roskill about 2.30pm last Thursday.

“We were able to track their location with the help of iPhone tracker,” he said.

“We knew the exact location of their property and provided police with the car rego as well but nobody came to help.

“We called police at least 10-15 times but no help was provided, when needed the most. We waited outside their property for about 40 minutes but no help came.”

Tandon said he could see people at the Massey property roaming around but the alleged thieves or recipients of stolen goods left before police arrived.

“We are taxpayers of the country and are feeling betrayed by the police system.”

Police told the Herald inquiries were under way.

Multiple items were reported stolen including two Apple MacBooks laptops.

Police confirmed Tandon provided location tracking information about his devices, including two Apple MacBooks.

“Unfortunately this information alone is insufficient for police to be able to conduct a search of an address or vehicle,”the spokeswoman added.

“Police were unable to immediately respond at the time due to other priority jobs being called in around the same time.”

But police said positive lines of inquiry were being followed, including possible CCTV footage.

Anyone with information could contact Police on 105, quoting file number 210401/2108.

Private investigator Julia Hartley Moore said people were increasingly using location-tracking technology in different ways.

She said Tandon appeared to have used the technology sensibly.

“You’ve got to be so careful once you track someone down. At least he had enough sense not to [confront them].”

Hartley Moore said it was the job of police, not private investigators or other civilians, to track down thieves.

She said a client had employed her to find a stolen car after police appeared to pay no attention to the case.

“We can’t even do a rego check. Back in the day you could pay $2.50 and get a rego check.”

She said spouses who suspected partners were cheating sometimes used tracking technology, providing information to investigators.

Tandon said he also provided statements showing an ASB card was used in suspect transactions last Thursday.

He said they included purchases at Larnoch Superette, Rathgar Rd Discount Foodmart and Wash Depot, all in Henderson.

The statement also showed a $49.90 transaction at Caltex Newmarket and two purchases totalling $49.27 at Greenlane KFC.

– Additional reporting: Adam Pearse


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