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Source: New Zealand Police (District News)

Police are warning the public to be cautious about buying goods listed for sale on social media. That shiny new item on sale for a bargain may really just be too good to be true.

It comes as the Waitematā East Tactical Crime Unit make arrests as part of investigations into mail and parcel theft in the Hobsonville and Greenhithe areas.

Detective Senior Sergeant Callum McNeill, acting Area Prevention Manager for Waitematā East, says Police have made two arrests so far in their investigations.

“In one case, we received information from one victim that the contents of a valuable parcel stolen from his doorstep were for sale on Facebook.

“Members of our Tactical Crime Unit looked into this and as a result intercepted two people allegedly attempting to sell stolen items.”

The 18-year-old woman and 32-year-old man have been arrested and charged on burglary, theft of mail and fraud related matters.

“Thankfully we have been able to return some of the stolen property to its owners, which was greatly appreciated.”

Detective Senior Sergeant McNeill says it is another warning to be vigilant for those people looking to purchase goods through platforms like Facebook Marketplace.

“Unfortunately we see a number of stolen items appearing for sale on social media. More often than not these can be brand new items, which are stolen, listed for sale.

“In the past offenders have created fake profiles in order to sell stolen items, before blocking buyers shortly after.”

Police have a number of suggestions for people looking to buy online:

* Check the social media profile of the seller. Is it a new profile or relatively blank? There’s a chance it may be a fake profile.
* If the seller insists on meeting at a public place to make a sale, be cautious. It may be that they are selling stolen items and don’t want to be identified.
* We recommend using a reputable online site to sell items.
* As the say goes: if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

For those having goods delivered by courier, we recommend:

* A signature be required for your delivery.
* If you are having a parcel left, ensure it is not placed where it is visible from the road.
* Where possible, get your parcel delivered to a work address.
* Some delivery companies allow to you select an option to collect parcels from their depot.

If you witness suspicious activity at a person’s property, call 111 immediately. If you wish to report a burglary, call 105.


Jarred Williamson/NZ Police