Police create ‘shopping cart’ for stolen items

Police have launched an online “shopping cart” system so the public can claim stolen items recovered by police raids on second-hand dealers.

Nearly 400 lost or stolen items of jewellery recovered by police in the Auckland region late last month during Operation Castle have been catalogued and uploaded on to the police website.  About $300,000 of watches were recovered in the operation, executed by more than 200 police officers to crack down on the trade of stolen goods.

Gold jewellery were particular targets, with police saying secondhand dealers were buying stolen gold jewellery, melting it down and selling it to gold bullion dealers. The recovered items can now be viewed and claimed by their rightful owners.  Visitors to the police website can identify and claim items through a specially designed Operation Castle “shopping cart” system, police said.

The site currently lists 138 rings and 80 watches. The photographs have been put in six categories. Police said visitors to the site are strongly advised against trying to claim items that do not belong to them as there are robust systems in place designed to check the authenticity of claims.

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