Smart devices helped police catch a pair who allegedly stole
a handbag from an unsuspecting tourist in Dunedin on Sunday
The incident followed a spate of handbag thefts from licensed
premises at the weekend, prompting a warning about
opportunistic thieves targeting unsecured items.
The German tourist was at the Dunedin City Library when a man
and woman made off with her handbag, which contained items
including cash, cards and passport, about 2.30pm, Sergeant
Matt Scoles said.
A CCTV image of the alleged offenders was snapped on a police
iPhone and then sent to Sgt Scoles, who forwarded it to
An off-duty police officer later saw the male and accompanied
him to Dunedin Central police station.
The handbag and cash were recovered. However, the passport
was yet to be located.
A 36-year-old woman and a 37-year-old man have been charged
with theft in connection with the incident.
The pair were expected to appear in the Dunedin District
Court this week.
Sgt Scoles said the arrest highlighted the importance of CCTV
and mobile devices, for disseminating information quickly to
Police were reminding people to be vigilant following a spate
of handbag thefts at the weekend, and a handbag snatch at
Countdown supermarket in the city last week.
Several handbags were stolen from licensed premises during
the weekend, and people needed to remember some people went
to these places to ''steal jackets and handbags''.
''There are a lot of opportunists out there.''
Patrons were urged to keep their handbags with them at all
times, or use a coat check facility if available.