Bystander Shot On Motorway Following Handbag Theft

(from a lost post by Luthien)

Source: NZ Herald
A vehicle was stolen in West Auckland earlier today and used in a handbag snatch that went fatally wrong.

Following a high speed pursuit on Auckland’s North Western Motorway involving the Armed
Offenders Squad a member of the public was was shot dead and another injured. At this time it is not known who fired the fatal shot.

20 police vehicles and a helicopter were involved in the chase which started at 1pm following a handbag theft in Titirangi.

A man has been arrested and a sawn off .22 rifle was found at the scene.

Back in Sept 2008 this blog highlighted the problem of bag snatches in the Auckland area. Link – Bag snatchers targeting women again

The Waitemata police carried out a series of raids on the homes of an Auckland-wide gang that was stealing handbags from the front seats of cars while women loaded their groceries into the boot.

At the time 9 men were arrested but police admitted that it hadn’t stopped thieves from stealing women’s bags and the spate of thefts continued in the New Lynn Area (close to Titirangi) all of which involved the use of stolen cars to make a getaway.

Woman killed in robbery June 2008

In June of last year 39 year old Joanne Wang (right) was killed when she was run down down in the street after her handbag was snatched at the Manukau Westfield shopping centre, her 8 year old son was with her and was traumatised after witnessing the appalling incident. News link

47 Bag Snatches over the Christmas period

Then in December police released released video footage of another dramatic handbag theft in South Auckland, showing a woman being dragged along the ground by her attacker. Over the Christmas period there were 47 bag snatches in the area. Link TVNZ

Police have said that it’s becoming a big problem in the area and the criminals are targeting Asians.

These incidents suggest that the rule of law is failing in Auckland and the problem is beyond the the control of the police. It belies the commonly held perception that New Zealand safe place in which to live.