Q'town burglary: police seek Corolla sightings

Police are seeking sightings of a grey Corolla after the smash-and-grab robbery of a Queenstown jewellery store on Saturday night.

The car which fled from police in the Dipton area had a stolen registration plate of LQL818, which was taken from a red rental Toyota in Queenstown.

"The car involved in the fleeing driver incident is now believed to be a grey Toyota Corolla, which had also been stolen from Queenstown,'' a police spokeswoman said.

"It's actual registration is KHN571.''

Police are appealing for any sightings of the grey Toyota Corolla in the Queenstown or Southland areas since Sunday night.

"If you have seen a grey Toyota Corolla, with either registration number a LQL818 or KHN571 - please call Queenstown Police on (03) 441-1600.

"We would also like to hear from anyone who has any other information which could help us identify and locate the offender for this burglary.''

The man helped himself to about a dozen men's watches, a laptop computer and cash from Jamies Jewellers in Frankton's Queenstown Central shopping complex.

Officers working on the case were following strong leads in identifying the burglar, Det Sgt Shaw said.

"Police are also urging people to be wary of anyone offering watches for sale. If you are approached or see information online regarding watches for sale, please give us a call.''

Jamies Jewellers Queenstown manager Clyde Vellacott on Sunday supplied police CCTV footage from the store.

The clear footage from his new surveillance system showed the man's face as he cased the premises, before returning with his face masked to smash his way in, he said.

The Queenstown branch opened just before Christmas, but the Central Otago business had been running for more than 150 years through five generations of family ownership, making it the oldest jewellery store continuously owned by the same family in New Zealand, he said.

The items taken were between 12 and 15 men's watches valued at up to $1800 each, including models of the Seiko, Citizen and Baby-G brands.

Also taken were a laptop and $150 cash. - NZME


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