A man has been arrested after allegedly breaking into a North Shore home last month disguised as a police officer and stealing $30,000 worth of items.
A police spokesperson said officers responded to reports two people broke into a home on Tui Glen Road in Birkenhead at around 12:25am on April 13.
The thieves were described to be wearing New Zealand Police high visibility vests, the spokesperson said.
The home invasion is reported to have happened at the home of two university students.
The offenders produced a fake search warrant before stealing between $25,000 and $30,000 worth of belongings from the students, according to Stuff.
Auckland University student Jackson described the robbery to Stuff.
“We heard really heavy knocking on our front door at about 12:20am. I checked the peephole and saw three men in what looked like police uniforms,” Jackson said.
Jackson described the thieves as wearing fluorescent yellow high-visibility vests with two stripes on the sides of the shoulders and police labelling on the left breast and on the back.
“The uniform looked real so I trusted them. I opened the door, and they held up a really big piece of paper with the words ‘search warrant’ at the top,” Jackson said.
“They said they suspected we had an illegal firearm in the house, and had to conduct a search.”
Jackson said the robbery lasted about 25 minutes, with the thieves telling the two students to stay downstairs while they searched the property.
The thieves stole $15,000 in cash set aside for school fees, a mobile phone, jewellery, three car keys and two air rifles, Stuff reported.
Jackson became suspicious when one of the thieves stole his and his friend’s mobile phone and wallet. After he asked for the phones back, Jackson said the man became “really aggressive”.
“That’s when I realised they were fake police officers. I ran out of the house, but I tripped and fell.”
Jackson said he and two of the robbers began fighting which resulted in one of the thieves pointing a gun at his head, yelling he would shoot if Jackson didn’t “back off”.
Police are yet to confirm if the thieves were armed.
Following the home invasion, Waitematā CIB has been investigating and on Friday executed search warrants at a Manurewa property, where they arrested a 32-year-old man.
The man appeared over the weekend on charges relating to aggravated assault, kidnapping, committing a burglary with a weapon, and impersonating police.
The police spokesperson added the 32-year-old will reappear in the North Shore District Court on Thursday.
Waitematā East area investigations manager, Detective senior sergeant Nick Poland said the investigation team has been working hard to locate the offenders behind this incident and put them before the Court.
“Police are continuing support the victims that were involved and we hope these arrests bring reassurance to them, as well as the Birkenhead community,” Poland said
Enquiries to locate the uniform reportedly used and confirm if it’s a legitimate police uniform are ongoing, Poland confirmed.
“We reiterate that, in general, Police staff will be clearly identifiable in uniform and will be carrying Police identification that can be presented upon request,” Poland said.
“We advise anyone who is dealing with a representative or agency to question their identification if they are unsure.”
Poland said while there are still a number of enquiries underway, police are limited in further comment as this matter is now before the Court.