Police in Pukekohe have been investigating a series of incidents related to the thefts of cellphones.
A 21 year old man has been arrested and charged with 11x theft, 2x obtain by deception and 1x robbery.  He will appear in the Pukekohe District Court on Wednesday 22 October.
It is believed the phones were advertised on Facebook buy/sell groups and victims travelled to Pukekohe from as far as Matamata or Whangarei to sell their phone.
“If you have been contacted on Facebook by anyone wishing to purchase a cellphone off you by meeting in Pukekohe, Police would appreciate you coming forward to assist with the investigation,” says Senior Constable Malakai Tohi or Pukekohe Police.  “Additionally anyone who has had a phone or cash stolen in the Pukekohe area is urged to report the crime to Police.”
No stolen phones have been recovered, so anyone who has purchased an iPhone or Samsung S5 in the Pukekohe area which has been subsequently blocked is urged to contact police.
Crime prevention advice to people buying and selling goods online:
1. Be aware that deals that appear to be too good to be true are usually exactly that

2. Record the serial number of your phone

3. Ask on your buying/selling group whether anyone else has purchased from or sold to the person and give feedback to your group admins after completing a purchase

4. Make sure that the phone you are buying is legitimate by getting the IMEI number from the seller.  Get them to post a photo of the phone with the IMEI number displayed on the phone.  The IMEI number can be found on a white label found underneath the battery of the device.

5. Using the IMEI, check with a cellphone provider whether that phone has been blocked at the T.C.F website below:

6. Save your text messages and Facebook chat history

7. When purchasing, ask for a receipt

8. Take a photo of the person you are selling to or buying from when you meet them

9. Meet in a public place preferably near CCTV cameras

Anyone can record IMEI or serial numbers as well as photos of your phone or any other personal property at
“We are certain that someone in Pukekohe will have some vital information on this case which will be of great assistance,” says Senior Constable Tohi.
Police urge anyone who has had a phone stolen to go to their local Police station.  Anyone with any information about crime is encouraged to contact the organisation Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Issued by Kimberley Mathews/Communications Manager, Counties Manukau Police
021 192 0717

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"Pukekohe Police Investigate Stolen Cellphones"    21/10/2014