Brazen thieves who stole close to 100 Jucy rental cars in New Zealand earlier this year have finally been apprehended.
Police in New Zealand have apprehended 32 people allegedly linked to the theft of 98 Jucy rental cars over the Anzac Day weekend.
Unlike the trademark green and purple campervans seen across Australia and New Zealand, most of the cars stolen over a number of days from a large rental car lot were unbranded Holden Captivas, Mazda3s, and Suzuki Swift models. The vehicles had reportedly been left unlocked.
It’s estimated that the total value of the heist was $NZ2.8 million.
So far, 32 people have been charged and 90 of the 98 vehicles have been recovered.
“Thanks to the dedicated and sustained effort from the staff involved, we have arrested and charged a total of 32 individuals with a range of offences,” Inspector Matt Srhoj, Counties Manukau West area commander, told the New Zealand Herald.
“This was a brazen event involving opportunistic offending on a large scale and we are pleased to be able to hold those allegedly involved to account.”
The theft came at a difficult time for the rental car industry, as New Zealand’s borders are closed to tourists and locals are only beginning to come out of strict lockdown, thanks to the country’s hardline response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The theft was described by police as being opportunistic, rather than involving a high level of sophistication.
The New Zealand Herald reported that “most of those arrested have been charged in relation to receiving stolen property, with other charges including burglary, unlawfully taking a motor vehicle, failing to stop and Health Act breaches”.