Two South Auckland women are facing 15 shoplifting and assault charges between them, with one accused of spraying disinfectant in a security guard’s face.
The other woman is accused of threatening, beating a retail worker with a baseball bat, throwing glass jars at workers before fleeing with a trolley-load of stolen goods on another occasion and threatening, assaulting workers with a hammer before again running away with a full trolley in another incident.
Police arrested a 24-year-old last week after she allegedly assaulted the security guard at a shop in Takanini.
She was due to appear in the Manukau District Court on Friday on six shoplifting charges and two aggravated assault charges.
The second woman, a 34-year-old, was arrested yesterday when officers saw her in a car linked to another shoplifting incident and pulled it over.
Officers quickly realised she was wanted for three alleged shoplifting and assault incidents and arrested her.
Police Inspector Matt Hoyes detailed her alleged crimes: “The first was an incident on 12 November where [she] assaulted and threatened [an] employee of a store in Manukau ... with a baseball bat.
“The second was an incident at a supermarket in Manukau on Saturday 29 November, where she is alleged to have assaulted employees by throwing glass jars at them before fleeing with a trolley full of stolen goods.
“The third incident was again at a supermarket in Manukau yesterday, Tuesday 5 December, where she is alleged to have threatened and assaulted employees with a hammer before [fleeing] with another trolley full of stolen products,” Hoyes said.
Police were keeping her in custody until she appeared in the Manukau District Court today on three shoplifting charges, three assault with a blunt instrument charges, and another of aggravated assault.
Hoyes commended his officers and colleagues, saying their ability to recognise the alleged offenders and quickly arrest them was “great work”.
Counties Manukau District police have been patrolling shopping centres and central business districts after a recent spate of anti-social behaviour and shoplifting.
Hoyes said: “Our high visibility patrols in shopping malls and along shopping strips also allow Police to interact with the public who want to see an end to this type of crime in their neighbourhood.
“By working together, we can make our district a place where everybody can be safe and feel safe,”
He asked any members of the public who saw suspicious behaviour around malls or shops to tell retail staff, security, or police.
Raphael Franks is an Auckland-based reporter who covers breaking news. He joined the Herald as a Te Rito cadet in 2022.
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