Rental car heist: 50 Jucy cars recovered, 112 stolen, 14 people arrested

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 28 Apr 2020, 3:43PM
The premise where the cars were taken from in Mangere. Photo / Brett Phibbs
The premise where the cars were taken from in Mangere. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Rental car heist: 50 Jucy cars recovered, 112 stolen, 14 people arrested

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 28 Apr 2020, 3:43PM

Police have found 50 of the 112 vehicles stolen from Jucy Rentals in South Auckland.

The stolen vehicles were Holden Captivas, Mazda 3s or Suzuki Swifts that were unbranded, making them not easily identifiable as the company's distinctive green and purple campervans.

As of this morning, 14 people have been arrested and nine of those are facing charges and have or will be appearing in court.

The majority of those are facing charges relating to unlawfully taking a motor vehicle or receiving property.

Three of those charged are also facing a number of driving-related charges after allegedly failing to stop for Police.

Three people are also facing charges for alleged breaches under the Health Act.

Those facing charges range in age from 21 to 52 years old.

Three youths have also been caught and are being dealt with separately.

Police have also been notified of 18 additional vehicles that were interfered with at the same yard, which belong to another rental company.

A handful of these vehicles have also been damaged, however none of these company's vehicles have been reported stolen.

Police have made further enquiries at the car yard today including forensic testing.

Enquiries are also being made to obtain CCTV footage from the car yard as well as from nearby addresses.

Police are still working to establish the exact timing of the vehicle thefts, which is believed to have taken place over the weekend.

Inspector Matt Srhoj, Counties Manukau West Area Commander, said police are working hard to hold all of those responsible to account.

"We are determined to locate the remainder of these stolen vehicles and Police are working hard to establish exactly what has occurred.

"We have also spoken to other rental car companies in the wider area to ensure they have appropriate security measures in place, which includes keeping vehicle keys hidden in a secure place."

Police are also aware that a few of the stolen vehicles have been advertised for sale online on places such as Facebook marketplace at very low prices.

"We encourage the community to report any suspicious activity such as this online.

If the deal appears too good to be true, it probably is.

"We also want to remind the public that it is an offence to knowingly receive stolen property and those found by Police risk being prosecuted."

Jucy Rentals chief executive Tim Alpe previously told the Herald he was devastated by the theft, which could not have come at a worse time for the company.

"When tourism has been just been decimated, to have to go through this as well is just horrific," Alpe said.

The stolen vehicles would have been used by a range of Kiwis who were returning to work as the country moved to level 2.

"At Jucy, we have about two-and-a-half thousand vehicles across New Zealand - cars and campervans, so it's a significant number that has been taken from this site," Alpe said.