Police warning after four Mazda cars stolen within hours of each other in New Plymouth


The Tui Dairy was victim to shoplifters on Saturday evening, with the theifs taking off with a large amount of ice creams.

SIMON O’CONNOR/Stuff

The Tui Dairy was victim to shoplifters on Saturday evening, with the theifs taking off with a large amount of ice creams.

Mazda owners in New Plymouth have been warned to be vigilant and park off-street after a spate of weekend thefts, two of which were linked to shoplifting.

Four Mazdas and one Nissan were reported stolen and later abandoned on Saturday evening, and Sergeant Paul Bailey said police had been kept busy.

Officers were first called to Awanui Cemetery after reports of two cars doing burnouts.

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“There was only one there when we arrived and discovered it was stolen,” he said.

Police were then called to Merrilands’ Tui Dairy at 7.50pm after a shoplifter pulled up in a Mazda stolen earlier that evening and ran inside to the ice cream freezer, making off with stock worth hundreds of dollars.

“They stole four buckets of ice creams,” shop manager Jennifer Lin said on Sunday.

“Last night I couldn't sleep,” Tui Dairy owner Jennifer Lin said.

SIMON O’CONNOR/Stuff

“Last night I couldn’t sleep,” Tui Dairy owner Jennifer Lin said.

“It would cost around $400.”

The incident had scared Lin.

“Last night I couldn’t sleep,” she said.

The car was later found abandoned near Bunnings Warehouse in New Plymouth.

At 8.40pm, police were called to Liqourland on Courtenay St, where a person wearing sunglasses, a mask and a beanie ran into the store and stole two bottle of spirits before jumping into a stolen vehicle and fleeing.

“This one was later recovered at East End Skate park,” Bailey said.

Another Mazda was located Cracroft St, where it was left next to a lamp post after doing burnouts.

Police were altered to five different car thefts on Saturday night.

Andy Jackson/Stuff

Police were altered to five different car thefts on Saturday night.

Police have previously linked Mazda thefts to social media challenges in which young people try to gain notoriety.

In April, a group of youths were responsible for a rise in Mazda vehicle thefts across the city, and in January three people were arrested after 15 Mazda vehicles were stolen across the district and attempts were made to take a further seven, while three were interfered with.

Bailey said it was a timely reminder to Mazda owners, and for the public to call police immediately for any suspicious behaviour.

“We would rather be called and find out it’s nothing than not be called at all.”

Bailey said earlier in the evening a Nissan was stolen from Inglewood and the driver then failed to stop for police in New Plymouth.

Road spikes were deployed in Merrilands to stop the driver, who swerved to miss them before ditching the car.

Saturday night’s crime spree came after a pair of youths broke into Subway Inglewood in the early hours of the day, causing between $1500 and $2000 in damage, but making off with just $20 worth of chips and fizzy drink.



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