Police net $40k stash of electronic devices allegedly stolen from Auckland schools; smash $100,000 on-selling racket

Police have uncovered a stash of $40,000 worth of electronic devices allegedly stolen from schools across Auckland and disrupted a “lucrative avenue”where stolen goods were on-sold.

Auckland City District Police said a burglary investigation had led to the “significant discovery” of electronic equipment allegedly taken from classrooms across the region.

The Waitematā West Tactical Crime Unit had began investigating three burglaries at West Auckland schools in recent weeks, where a number of electronic devices were stolen.

Waitematā West Area Investigations Manager Detective Senior Sergeant Tim Williams said inquiries led police to a Kelston address last week.

“Police located a number of electrical goods that were allegedly stolen from the schools and these have since been recovered.

“Investigators have continued to make inquiries into the find and have since spoken with a man in connection with the burglaries.”

Williams said a 36-year-old had now been charged with the three alleged burglaries and was before the Waitākere District Court.

In the process of the investigation Williams said police disrupted an allegedly lucrative avenue where stolen electrical goods were on-sold, netting dozens of stolen laptops and tablets and $100,000 cash.

“Further inquiries led our investigators to a commercial business in Avondale where another search warrant was conducted this week,” said Williams.

At the business police found around 70 laptops, tablets and other devices that had allegedly been stolen from Auckland schools over the past year.

“Police have since spoken with the business owner as part of this investigation and this has led us to conducting another search warrant at a Glendene property,” said Williams.

“At that property our staff have located a large amount of cash estimated to amount to $100,000.”

A 41-year-old man had been charged with six counts of receiving stolen property and was due to appear before the Waitākere District Court today.

“These devices are an important and expensive asset for schools, so this is incredibly rewarding for Police to be in a position to return these items.”

Police would be looking to return the devices to their rightful owners in due course.

Williams said the investigation was continuing with the further arrests or enforcement action not being ruled out.

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